Formula 1 News

Massa to start last after missing qualifying

A heavy crash in FP3 meant Massa's Ferrari had to be rebuilt, but the team did not have enough time to get the car ready for qualifying
Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Felipe Massa suffered a double blow on Saturday in Monaco, first crashing heavily in the morning practice session after his throttle appeared to stick open, and then missing qualifying entirely after the team was unable to repair the car in time for him to take to the track in Q1. Massa will start tomorrow's race last on the grid, which all but negates his chances of victory around the tight and twisty street circuit.

Fernando Alonso was in a similar situation in 2010, when he crashed during third practice and was unable to take part in qualifying. Alonso made an early pitstop in the race and used a safety car and some very quick driving to get himself up to sixth by the end of the race. It is possible that Massa might try a similar strategy tomorrow, as a safety car is a virtual certainty at Monaco and the Ferrari has been very kind to its tyres throughout the weekend.

If Massa starts on the supersoft tyres and pits in the first 10 laps, a safety car or 2 during the race could help him to prolong the life of his soft tyres enough to finish the race on just one stop, which would put him in contention for a strong points finish.

Ferrari have a history of drivers starting last and finishing well at Monaco. Aside from Alonso's sixth place in 2010, Michael Schumacher started last in 2006 after being excluded from qualifying for deliberately blocking the track during the session. Schumacher came through to finish fifth in that race.

Massa has a quick car, but overtaking in Monaco is nearly impossible, which means he will be relying on a strong start and good strategy to move him forward during the race. Victory is not likely, but a top ten finish is certainly possible.

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