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Ferrari's blunder has Massa seething

FERRARI driver Felipe Massa blasted his Formula One team's arrogance after a miscalculation yesterday meant he qualified in 16th place for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Massa finished only four laps in the first qualifying session at the Sepang Circuit, as Ferrari believed his time would be good enough to go through to the second period without having to use another set of soft tires.

But the Brazilian then watched incredulously from the garage as some rivals performed late lap times that dropped him into the bottom five, knocking him out of qualifying.

"I blame everybody. I blame me, I blame my engineer, I blame everybody who are working in the pit," Massa said. "It was a huge wake-up call that now we need to use our tires, we need to use what we have because to pass through every session is very difficult."

Massa said Ferrari was living off memories of its past dominance and needs to acknowledge that the competition has improved.

"Maybe the past is still very fresh in our mind, with a great car, a competitive car. In the past, it was always easy to go into the first qualifying on the hard tires and stay in the top 10. Now, it's not easy anymore."

Massa was also critical of his team's strategy in the opening race in Melbourne, opting to start on soft tires that degraded quicker than expected.

His non-finish in Australia due to a steering failure, and yesterday's dismal qualifying performance raised memories of 2008, when the Brazilian failed to score a single point in the opening two races and ultimately lost the drivers' championship by a point.

"We had already had a wake-up call in the first race," Massa said. "After this qualifying, we are feeling more that maybe we are not as competitive as we expected.

"I am here to put myself in the middle of the problem as well. The mistake was there, but I put myself inside the mistake."

Looking to today's race, Massa is hoping for wet weather in order to improve his chances of earning points.

"The rain could be a lottery so maybe it is our best hope of getting into the points," he said. "I just hope to have a good race. The car has good pace and if I drive well, we have an opportunity to pick up some points."


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