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Optimistic Massa out to capitalise on improved form 06 Jun 2012

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2012.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012

If the newspapers were to be believed, Felipe Massa arrived at the last round in Monaco fighting for his survival at Ferrari. But rather than buckle under the intense media pressure, Massa put in his best showing of the season to date and, looking ahead, the Brazilian is confident he can stay on the pace in Canada this weekend.

“Monaco was a good race weekend for me, as I was competitive right from the start of free practice,” he told Ferrari’s official website. “I was able to be consistent, in practice, qualifying and the race and the car felt comfortable for me to drive. I hope this positive trend can continue, starting with the race in Canada and then through to the end of the championship.”

After failing to make it through to Q3 and to finish higher than ninth at 2012's opening five rounds, Massa qualified seventh in Monaco and eventually finished in sixth. He believes the turnaround in his fortunes could be because the set-up demanded by the street circuit suits his driving style more and he’s hoping to capitalise on it as the season progresses.

“I really liked the car there and it was working in the right direction to suit my style,” he explained. “Even if the street circuit is unique, we can at least follow the direction we took there and make it work at other tracks. It might not be a normal situation, but maybe it is the best direction to go in to make the F2012 work for me.

“It’s true that there are fewer places that exert high lateral forces on the car at Monaco and dealing with those forces was a weak point with our car. We have even tried this approach in the simulator, but sometimes, it’s not easy to get a clear answer there, which is why we keep experimenting at the race tracks.”

Luckily for Massa, this weekend’s track is just as unusual as Monaco’s, and with the Montreal circuit bearing some similarity to Monte Carlo’s twists and turns, Massa is hopeful he could enjoy another strong weekend.

“You have a lot of chicanes, so you need a car that is good over the kerbs and actually, some aspects are similar to Monaco,” he said. “The biggest difference in Montreal being that you need good speed on the long straight. You also need traction coming out of the chicanes and you have to find the right compromise, because you can’t just put more downforce on the car, as you then get too much drag for the fast straight sections.”

One thing that Massa believes should hold him in better stead in Canada is his boosted confidence. Although not completely content, the 31 year-old certainly feels revived after his Monaco result and hungry for more success.

“I definitely feel more confident now,” he concluded. “I feel stronger as well. It was very good compared to the start of the season, but we cannot be satisfied and now I want us to work hard to get something more. If we find the right direction, I know what I can do.”

Massa will be back on track on Friday for the opening practice session of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Du Canada 2012.

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