Massa pleased following strategy gamble
20 April 2013 – Felipe Massa has declared himself "very pleased" with his performance in this afternoon’s qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Brazilian driver claiming fourth on the grid alongside Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso.
After making a late strategic switch to Pirelli’s Hard compound tyre in Q3, Massa recorded the sixth fastest time of the session, but will benefit from grid penalties handed out to Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Mark Webber. Having struggled to get up to pace on the Medium tyre, the Brazilian had expected to be much further down the order, although he now believes that his gamble has paid off.
"I am very pleased with the outcome of this qualifying, because in the end, the decision to take a risk in Q3, going in a different direction to the one we had originally planned, turned out to be the best one," he said. "On the Medium compound, I didn’t feel able to fight for the top places, the car had little grip and suffered a lot at the back. Even with the Hard tyres, the chances of ending up further down the order was extremely high, but I still opted to stay with the tyres I felt most comfortable on.
"The penalties for two of the drivers ahead of me – Webber and Hamilton – mean I now move up the grid to fourth place, a point from where I can race with the leaders. Starting on the Medium will definitely be an advantage, but to have a good race it will be vital to find the best strategy and ensure everything runs perfectly."
Massa is a two-time winner at Sakhir, having triumphed with Ferrari in 2007 and 2008.