Felipe Massa: “I was struggling to make the tyres work”

Felipe Massa - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Felipe Massa was unable to match his time from final practice during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, but the Williams Martini Racing driver was still able to qualify inside the top ten.

The Brazilian was unable to break into 1:19’s during any of the three segments of qualifying, but his 1:20.032 in Q3 was enough to give him ninth on the grid, just behind of team-mate Valtteri Bottas but ahead of Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr.

Massa admitted that he struggled throughout the qualifying session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, and expects a difficult race day as well, although the target for the Brazilian and the team is to score more points than their rivals for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, the Sahara Force India F1 Team.

“That was a very difficult qualifying session,” admitted Massa. “I was struggling to make the tyres work. We tried on the preparation lap, and again on the first lap. We tried everything, but I just couldn’t make them work.

“My best lap time was actually this morning when I had more fuel and less deployment on the engine. Then, with everything set up in the perfect way for qualifying, unfortunately I couldn’t get a better lap time.

“Despite that, we are in the top ten. We know that the race tomorrow will be difficult, but we need to concentrate on scoring more points than Force India.”