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Gamble pays off for Felipe Massa in qualifying

Apr 20, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-F1-BAHRAIN-PRACTICE Getty Images

Felipe Massa may have taken a risk to finish qualifying on the harder tire, but the move has paid off for the Brazilian driver who will start 4th for the Bahrain Grand Prix tomorrow.

“I think maybe the preferred tire is the hard, that’s why people are saving the hard,” Massa explained to Adam Cooper. “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.”

Massa also explained the reason behind his gamble, with the softer compound being the quicker tire.

“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 tires, it’s not a bad thing to do.”

The 2008 world championship runner-up was pleased to have qualified so strongly on the hard tire, which is unusual.

“For sure you are more confident because you start in a good position on the hard tires, 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.”

Massa will be looking to challenge for his first win since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix in Bahrain, and a good start will be crucial to making this alternative strategy work.

MORE: Watch the Bahrain Grand Prix online or on your phone or tablet

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