• Malaysian Grand Prix - FP2

Massa suffering with setup direction

ESPNF1 Staff
March 23, 2012 « Button chasing qualifying performance at Sepang | Ferrari 'putting together a puzzle' - Alonso »
Felipe Massa was over two seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton's best time in FP2 © Getty Images
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Felipe Massa said that he went the wrong way with his setup during Friday practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso was sixth quickest in FP2 while Massa struggled down in 16th place, 1.3 seconds slower than his team-mate. Massa admitted that he had tried a different setup which had not worked out for him but said he was looking at it in a positive light as he had now ruled out a potential direction for the race.

"Fernando and I were on rather different programmes from each other and that is the main reason for the difference on the time sheet," Massa said. "In the afternoon in particular, we went in completely different directions which in my case did not work, but at least it allowed me to understand a few important things about the handling of the car. Now my engineers and I know what is the right direction to go in, which makes me feel more optimistic for qualifying compared to how I felt about it last week in Melbourne.

Despite his optimism Massa admitted that the car was still going to be unable to challenge at the front, but said he was not feeling any extra pressure to perform after a poor race in Australia last time out.

"Clearly, at the moment, our car is not yet competitive at the highest level. Do I feel any special pressure? No, no more than usual: at Ferrari we are always under pressure. The important thing is to understand what did not work in Melbourne and I think we have everything in hand to do that."