• Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Massa blames 14th on lack of downforce

ESPN Staff
September 1, 2012 « 'Others have gone forward, we've stood still' - Schumacher | Grosjean defends decision not to run DDRS »
Felipe Massa highlighted the middle sector as his biggest problem © Sutton Images
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Felipe Massa says a lack of downforce restricted him to only qualifying 14th on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Having been in the top ten in Q1, Massa dropped out in Q2 before his team-mate Fernando Alonso secured fifth place. Massa said the cause was a lack of downforce in sector two, which he had been suffering from throughout the final free practice session and was unable to overcome in qualifying.

"Already this morning, I was struggling a lot in the second sector and, after the third free practice session, we made some changes to the configuration of the car, which unfortunately, did not change the situation much," Massa said. "I can't manage to drive properly in that part of the track. I can feel the car sliding in the corners because of a lack of aerodynamic downforce. Fernando also seemed to be suffering in some parts of the track, but clearly less so than me.

"In the first and third sectors however, I was competitive, both in absolute terms and when compared to my team-mate. Furthermore, precisely because of the difficulty I had in T2, I was a bit bothered about tyre degradation, especially as we had not managed to acquire date on their behaviour over a long run because of yesterday's bad weather.

Massa attempted to stay optimistic, however, saying that Spa has a habit of throwing up unpredictable races.

"I definitely can't be happy with today, but now the important thing is to concentrate on the race. Everything could still happen, especially on a track where overtaking is possible. On top of that, there are so many unknowns relating to the behaviour of the car so we cannot rule out any surprises."