• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Massa disappointed with ninth

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2012 « Mistake cost Schumacher time | Vettel excluded from qualifying »
Felipe Massa was 0.2s slower than team-mate Fernando Alonso in qualifying © Sutton Images
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Felipe Massa admits he was disappointed to only qualify in ninth place for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix having targeted a place in the top six.

While Ferrari knew qualifying was going to be a struggle, Fernando Alonso and Massa start sixth and eighth respectively after Sebastian Vettel's exclusion. Massa was over a second slower than pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, and half a second off Jenson Button in fifth, and he said having only one set of new soft tyres for Q3 hurt his pace.

"This is definitely a rather difficult and complicated weekend, at least up until tonight," Massa said. "We were hoping to be able to start a bit further up, at least on the front three rows of the grid. In Q3, I opted to run a different programme to my team-mate, partly because I only had one set of new Options available. Looking back, one could say that was not the best choice, but it's always easy to be wise with hindsight."

Massa also believes that he wasn't helped by having a less updated car than Alonso.

"I did not have all the updates we brought here: that was definitely not great, but looking at Fernando's result, it didn't make a difference. On the last lap I had a bit of oversteer in one corner which cost me a few hundredths: maybe I could have been eighth [before Vettel's exclusion] but it would not have changed much.

"Honestly, today it would have been hard to do more than this. Let's hope that tomorrow, thanks to a race pace that is traditionally our strong point, we can make up some places. This circuit seems to suit some cars particularly well: the McLaren was not this quick in the last three races, but here Hamilton took pole really smoothly."