x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Massa downbeat on third

Felipe Massa admits he is frustrated with being only third on the grid for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa qualified in third for tomorrow's race.
Felipe Massa qualified in third for tomorrow's race.

Felipe Massa admitted he was frustrated with being only third on the grid for tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix. The Brazilian was beaten by his championship rival Lewis Hamilton and his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen during qualifying on the Shanghai track. He said: "I can't deny I'm a bit disappointed with this qualifying. Starting from the front is always important even if the race is very long, but I will do my utmost to get a great result."

Massa needs to beat Hamilton to give himself the best chance of taking the title in Brazil next month, and he remains optimistic that he can challenge for the race victory. He said: "We will have to attack to make up positions in the race and we believe we have a good race strategy." The world champion Raikkonen, who saw his hopes of retaining his crown end in Japan last weekend, believed he and Ferrari did the best they could.

"Certainly, even putting aside what the choices have been in terms of fuel loads, it would have been difficult to beat the McLaren," he said. "But I am happy with the overall result for the team. We can count as usual on being more competitive in the race than in qualifying, so we can look with confidence." @Email:gcaygill@thenational.ae