- Malaysian Grand Prix
Ferrari has strong race pace - Massa
Felipe Massa believes Ferrari's race pace was one of the best in the field in Australia, but that the team still has a long way to go to fully understand the tyres.
Massa finished fourth on a three-stop strategy at the first race in Australia, while team-mate Fernando Alonso finished second. Massa thinks Ferrari demonstrated a decent pace in the race but admitted it could not match race winner Kimi Raikkonen's superior two-stop strategy due to the high levels of tyre degradation.
"In the race, for sure our pace was very good and when the tyres were in a good shape maybe we had the best pace on the track," he said. "We did not have a great degradation compared to Kimi and Kimi showed he had a great car for the race. We did not have that good a degradation rate but it was reasonably good compared to the other cars.
"That's something we need to concentrate on and get better and better. We need to see race by race and maybe the situation will be completely different at this track compared to Australia and maybe our car will use more or less of the tyres. We don't know, we need to wait and see. For sure it is an important moment to understand the tyres and so many things we need to do for the tyres, so we are working on it."
However, he said it was a good start after the problems he and the team faced this time last year.
"I think everything with the car is much better and we show a completely different performance to last year, in the qualifying, in the race and in the practice. Every time we were on the track we showed better performance - so the car is also ten times better. I feel much more in a good direction in the car and feel happy and already feel in a better shape than how we started last year as it was so difficult to understand the car. I think I took a little bit too long to understand the car but when I did I did a good job. I think this year we are more consistent, we understand the car a lot better and it's easier to drive. Everybody is working to understand everything that is happening so this is pretty good for the team and me as well."