Felipe Massa will be a wild card in the Bahrain GP as he starts from fourth place with the hard prime tyre.
Massa qualified sixth, but gained two spots from penalties applied to Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber.
He said the choice was largely because he felt more comfortable than on the medium.
“I think maybe the preferred tyre is the hard, that’s why people are saving the hard,” he said. “I didn’t save, but I start on the hard, it can be that I gain positions on the first stint because of that, I don’t know, we’ll see.
“The race is definitely long. I was not very happy with the medium as well, struggling a bit on the balance to find the right grip, so that’s why I took this gamble. I think when you start from the fourth position on the hard tyres, it’s not a bad thing to do.
“For sure you are more confident because you start in a good position on the hard tyres, so we need to wait and see if it works or not tomorrow. It can be that it works, so let’s be optimistic and concentrate on the race.”
2 responses to “Dark horse Massa starts fourth on hard tyre”
And Webber, 7th, has saved a set of the hard tyres. The mixed variables and split strategies this season are intriguing. I was expecting somebody (Hulkenberg?) to start in 11/12th on the hard compound and try to jump the leaders on their first stops to ditch the medium tyres. Fascinating! Can the race be done as a two stopper? What of a safety car?
Pirelli are copping all sorts of flak for throwing uncertainty into the racing, I think it’s a good thing and far too early to be calling for change. The tyres are the same for everyone and these are meant to be the best drivers in the world, get out there and race gentlemen.
“get out there and race gentlemen.”
But that’s the problem: they’re not racing they’re babysitting tyre wear. Sure there is more passing but half of them are meaningless, just a by-product of drivers overlapping each other on pitstop strategy.
I’d much rather see 75% of the field do 2 stops, the rest do 1, and maybe a couple of rabbits try 3. The cars are close enough in performance now that, with the help of DRS, there will still be lots of passes, most of which will be wheel-to-wheel action.