• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Tow didn't help Massa in Q3

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012 « Hamilton tempers joy at pole | Alonso reveals mechanical failure »
Felipe Massa secured his best qualifying result of the season so far © Press Association

Felipe Massa admitted that a clean lap without worrying about the tow at Monza was the key to his third position in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Both Ferraris were seen practising slipstreaming during the final practice session on Saturday morning, with a close qualifying expected as Lewis Hamilton had edged out Fernando Alonso by just 0.001s in FP3. However, come Q3 Alonso had a mechanical problem at the rear of his car and Massa went on to secure third on the grid.

"I think he [Alonso] had a problem, he was supposed to be in a better position for the qualifying as well," Massa said. "I don't know what problem he had, but he had a problem in Q3 and was not able to complete his lap. But anyway I'm happy with the lap I did. I was always caring about the tow and to find the tow, but then on my last run when I did my best lap I was completely outside of the tow, so that was better for me and then we were able to do our best lap from the weekend on our last try in Q3. So I'm happy to be here and it's always a very important race for us."

Massa then said that he was pleasantly surprised with the handling of the car when he ran a lap in clear air late in qualifying and was able to improve.

"For me it was no different [the tow] because I made my best lap without the tow. We were trying a lot this morning to get the best direction for the tow but it's never that easy in qualifying. I think we were able to do a bit in Q1 and Q2. Fernando helped me on the first try in Q3 and I was supposed to help him again on the second lap but he had to nearly stop his car on the outlap and I did one lap without a tow.

"I think it was nice to try without, knowing I had a good lap from earlier in Q3 and I tried and I improved. I was pretty happy to do that and the car worked well in the corners and under braking. It was good and a nice qualifying for me. Let's concentrate on the race tomorrow because I'm very happy to be here tomorrow.

"It's a very important race for us and it's a very important race for me so I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow in front of these fantastic people."