• Chinese GP - Qualifying

Massa confident of taking fight to Red Bull and Ferrari

ESPN Staff
April 19, 2014 « Raikkonen bemoans 'inconsistent' Ferrari | Mercedes called for a suspended ban for Red Bull »
Felipe Massa is encouraged by upgrades brought to Williams © Sutton Images

Felipe Massa says the prospect of a dry race in China means he will have his eyes set firmly on Ferrari and Red Bull after qualifying sixth.

Massa and Valtteri Bottas ended Williams' struggles in the rain with a strong finish in qualifying, leaving them placed behind both Red Bulls and his former Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso. While he is writing off a challenge to Mercedes out in front Massa insists a dry race hands the advantage back to Williams in the hunt for a podium finish which has so far been elusive in 2014.

"For sure Red Bull made a good start," Massa said. "But I think maybe rain condition is better for them than dry, in my opinion. So we will see, we don't know exactly how it is going to be tomorrow. When I look around there are big teams fighting with us.

"There is Mercedes, who will be difficult to fight with if they don't have a problem, and Red Bull and Ferrari. So they are both up there. We need to do a good job with strategy to be in front but we are ready for that and we will see what the situation is in the dry.

"I've started many times alongside Fernando, he's a great driver who has won here many times and I think [Ferrari] has made a good step forward compared to the last race. It won't be easy but we need to be ready to fight with Fernando, with Sebastian, with everybody [ahead], that's how we need to be tomorrow."

Massa also admits "new pieces" brought to China did their job in qualifying and he is calling on Williams not to ignore aerodynamic development in favour of focusing on the Mercedes engine.

"I think we started better than the other teams so our improvements have been smaller but definitely we are in a good shape with the engine. We also need to concentrate on the car. From the beginning of the championship to the middle the engine will be the biggest factor but then after that it will be aerodynamic, so we can't forget that side of it.

"We need to improve the car and make a good job in the wind tunnel because you can see the car growing and we need to keep seeing race by race, that's the job we need to do."

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