• United States Grand Prix - Qualifying

Massa prepared for start penalty

ESPN Staff
November 17, 2012 « Schumacher exceeds Mercedes' expectations | Alonso has a 'feeling' he will finish ahead of Vettel »
Felipe Massa outqualified team-mate Fernando Alonso for only the second time this season © Sutton Images

Felipe Massa believes the left hand side of the grid will see a "massive" difference compared to the right hand side at the start of the United States Grand Prix.

After Romain Grosjean's gearbox penalty, Massa starts from sixth on the grid and on the left hand side which is concerning drivers to such an extent that Lewis Hamilton said he would ask the FIA to clean it ahead of the race.

The new Circuit of the Americas has been low on grip all weekend, but lap times have been improving as the weekend goes on as a clear racing line has rubbered in. While the right hand side of the grid is on the racing line, the left is untouched and Massa said that a practice start in FP3 confirmed to him that there will be a big disparity between grid slots.

"I think it will be the biggest difference you ever saw in our starts," Massa said. "I think it will be, I don't know, it will be massive. This morning I did a start on the left and I was slower than in the wet, so..."

With Red Bull set to wrap up the constructors' championship, Massa denied that his primary role would be to help Fernando Alonso in the race with his team-mate starting behind him in eighth place.

"We are fighting with McLaren for the second place in the championship, which is very important for us. The target for tomorrow is to do the best we can to score maximum points for the constructors' championship. For sure Fernando is not starting in a great position and if I can help him for sure I will do all I can to help both."

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