Felipe Massa likened his final lap during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix to the one he completed back in 2006 that saw him take pole position, even if this years 1:29.480s was only the ninth best lap on the day.
The Williams Martini Racing driver felt his lap was perfect, and that he was extremely satisfied with the result at the Suzuka International Racing Course, with the Brazilian moving up to eighth on the grid thanks to Kimi Raikkonen’s grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Massa hopes to convert this qualifying result into a points finish on Sunday as Williams look to further consolidate their fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship, while he himself is embroiled in a close battle for tenth place in the Drivers’ Championship with team-mate Lance Stroll and Nico Hülkenberg.
“I’m so happy with my qualifying,” said Massa. “Q1 was a good lap, Q2 was a great lap, and Q3 was just a perfect lap, so I’m really happy with my result.
“We’re starting in a great position and you never know what can happen tomorrow in the race. We’ll try to get the best we can in terms of points.
“My lap time today was similar to when I was on pole in 2006, just the perfect lap, which gives you a lot of pleasure, so I’m happy with that.”