Formula 1

Massa content with P7 qualifying effort in Australia

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Felipe Massa will start seventh on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Felipe Massa was happy with his performance during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday, and will start the first race of the new Formula 1 season from seventh on the grid.

The Williams Martini Racing driver missed out on some Ultrasoft Pirelli tyre testing on Friday due to technical issues on his FW40, so he was pleased that he was able to get some decent lap times in on them when it came to the qualifying hour.

Massa felt Romain Grosjean and the Haas F1 Team performed well during qualifying to get ahead of the Brazilian in sixth, but he has high hopes that he can have a strong first race of the year.

“It was a good qualifying session,” revealed Massa. “I am happy with my qualifying and the laps I was doing. It’s the first qualifying session of the season and the first time I have used the new Ultrasoft tyres, after missing some laps on those yesterday.

“All in all I was happy with qualifying. Sixth would have been a great position for us today but I think Romain did a very good lap, which I was not able to beat.

“That said, I am sure we can fight in the race and I’m really looking forward to making the first race of the season a good one.”

Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe was happy the Brazilian was able to break into the top ten, especially with the closeness of the midfield teams in Australia, with seventh ultimately a positive outcome.

“On Felipe’s side it was actually a very good day,” said Lowe. “We were hoping to get a position in the top 10 after a good session in FP3 with some long runs to gather the data we missed yesterday.

“Then it was a solid qualifying session for him with quite a tight fight in the top 10. Felipe did a great job to get P7 on the grid. I think Felipe can put up a good fight for points tomorrow in the race.”

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