• Japanese Grand Prix - FP2

Better first impressions for Massa

ESPNF1 Staff
October 7, 2011 « 'DRS might catch a few people out' - Webber | Alonso encouraged by Friday practice »
Felipe Massa is looking to improve on a best finish of fifth place so far this season © Getty Images

Felipe Massa says that "the first impressions are better" for Ferrari after practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

After being down in seventh and 1.9 seconds slower than Jenson Button in the first session, Massa was fifth quickest in FP2, half a second off of Button's best time. With Ferrari hoping to be more competitive than in Singapore, Massa said that the day's running had been smooth and he had found a good balance with the car, but that he was unsure where it stood compared to Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes.

"Overall, it was a good day," Massa said. "Compared to so many other Fridays this year, the first impressions are better. The car behaved reasonably well, but it's also true we will not know where we are compared to the others until tomorrow afternoon. We worked a lot on defining the best set-up, learning important things for the rest of the weekend."

Massa also said that he felt he could challenge for a podium if Ferrari can find a way to manage its tyres.

"Tyre degradation seems to be rather significant, which will make the race even more open in terms of strategy: finding the right set-up on the car won't be the easiest of jobs. Maybe we can fight for a podium finish and it's a realistic goal. Sure, I always want to be able to fight for the win: it's true that Red Bull has a significant advantage, but we must continue to believe in ourselves, because in the races, anything can happen."