• Turkish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Massa bemoans qualifying error

ESPNF1 Staff
May 7, 2011 « Alonso hails best qualifying of the season | »
10th place is Felipe Massa's worst qualifying performance of the season © Getty Images

Felipe Massa said he made a 'significant mistake' during the final session of qualifying, which means he will line up a disappointing tenth on the grid for the Turkish Grand Prix.

Having looked to have had the edge over his team-mate Fernando Alonso for much of the weekend so far, Massa endured a poor qualifying session. Having used up one set of soft tyres to get through Q1, he then ran wide at turn 9 in the final session and aborted his one and only run. Massa said the decision was made to preserve the tyres for the opening stint of the race.

"It was not a good qualifying for me: I did not manage to get a clean lap in Q3 after I made a significant mistake at Turn 9, when I ended up going off line: we therefore decided it was better to pit and save that set of tyres for the start. In Q1, with the hards, I did not get a great lap and so as not to take any risks, we decided to also use the softs, so I only had one new set available for the final part of qualifying.

Now we will see what we can do in the race tomorrow: usually our pace is better than in qualifying, but it will not be easy to do well, given that I'm starting from tenth. We will see what the tyre degradation will be like, maybe it will be a bit higher than what we saw in China. A shame, as I could have been on the third row, along with my team-mate."

Massa also said that his preparation for qualifying was disrupted by an engine change after the final practice session, but played down any fears it could affect his competitiveness in the race.

"This morning, in FP3, the engineers saw an engine parameter that they were not sure about and so it was decided to change it at the end of the session. So I went back to the engine I had already used in Malaysia and China, which according to the schedule is still meant to do three races."