• Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Massa struggles to find balance

ESPNF1 Staff
May 21, 2011 « Alonso hails 'perfect lap' | »
Felipe Massa has been struggling at the wheel of the Ferrari all weekend © Getty Images

Felipe Massa said the balance of his car was to blame for his disappointing qualifying performance at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Massa will start from eighth on the grid in Sunday's race after setting a time nearly one second slower than Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso.

"This was definitely not the qualifying performance we were expecting, but all weekend long we have struggled with the balance of the car: we would have needed to be perfect to start a bit further up the order and that was not the case. Let's hope that, on full tanks, the car works better and then we can see if we can get a good result."

Both Ferrari drivers had to use a set of soft tyres to get through Q1 and then two additional sets for Q2 and Q3, meaning they have no fresh tyres left for the race. Massa revealed that the F150 Italia was struggling on the hard tyres, which are made of a new compound this weekend, more than most.

"On a track like this it will not be easy to manage the tyres in the best way nor to find the best possible strategy. In Q2 we decided to stay in the garage, running the risk of not getting any further, because it would not have made much sense making the cut and then finding ourselves in Q3 without any new tyres: the outcome proved us right, even if we had hoped to make a better job of that opportunity.

"It is clear we suffer more than the others on the hard tyres. Overtaking? We will definitely see more than in the past at a circuit like this and that will mainly be down to tyre degradation."