Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has praised Felipe Massa for his solid performance in Monaco on the back of a disastrous start to the season.
While his team mate Fernando Alonso has been fighting for the lead of championship prior to last weekend Massa had scored only two points in five starts, and had failed to reach Q3.
In Monaco he qualified seventh and eventually finished sixth, right on the tail of the leading group.
“I think that he did a great weekend,” said Domenicali. “It was the weekend that he deserved after a lot of weeks of big pressure, and I think that he did a great qualifying. You can always say that he could have been a bit better in Q3, but you have to look from another angle.
“He did a great race today, he was a little bit unlucky because he could have been out in front of Lewis for a fraction, but he was there in the first six cars that were very close, so that’s for me the best thing. I’m sure that this will be a turning of his season, because he needs that. It was a great boost for him. It’s something that we need for the constructors’ championship and for the team. So I’m expecting a good Felipe up to the end.”
Alonso meanwhile regained the championship lead after taking third place. Domenicali says that the team is working hard to improve the qualifying pace of the F2012, to give the Spaniard a better chance of fighting for wins.
“It’s a fact that this championship is really difficult to understand in terms of the complexity of what is the situation. For sure in terms of the pure performance of the car we had a very difficult start. But on the other hand we had a situation where we are not happy because we want to improve the car, because we have seen other cars at the moment have done pole position – we have not, so that has to be a target for the team. Because if you are fighting for pole position or you’re already on pole position then the race is totally different.
“This is something that we need to keep focussed on our side to make sure that things are working in that direction. And in that respect I feel that at home everyone is working to make sure that every race we keep on putting performance on the car, but that’s the only thing we have to do.
“On the other side I’m happy that we’re leading, with such a championship we need to make sure that we don’t lose points, because if you lose points, they are very heavy. There are so many drivers and competitors that are fighting for the win you have to be always there, and then the counts will be done at the end.”