Ferrari says that qualifying both its cars in the top five for the Monaco Grand Prix -- with Kimi Raikkonen just 0.025sec away from pole -- is proof that the team has improved the initially uncompetitive F60.
Following Massa's racey showing in Barcelona two weeks ago, Raikkonen put Ferrari on the front row for the first time in 2009 while Felipe Massa qualified fifth despite not getting a clear lap throughout Q3.
"This is a good result and confirms the team is working well," said team principal Stefano Domenicali. "There's obviously slight regret at Kimi missing out on pole by a whisker and at the fact that Felipe hardly managed a single clean lap in Q3, which prevented him from getting a better grid position.
"Overall, we can be reasonably satisfied: we are in a good position for tomorrow's race and we have confirmed that we have made progress on the performance front over these past few weeks. There is still some way to go, but we're moving in the right direction."
Raikkonen added that he wasn't sure he could have taken pole away from Jenson Button, but admitted he was disappointed not to start from the front anyway.
"Second place is a nice result but I'm disappointed that I missed out on pole by a few hundredths," he said. "Here, there is a much bigger difference between starting from first or second place. The car has improved and that can be seen from the performance level.
"Today, we felt ever more comfortable as the track's grip level improved bit by bit. I had some difficulties on the first run in Q1, but then things got better all the time. In the end, I had the possibility of doing another lap, but I went long at the first corner: I don't know if I could have done a better time.
"The start will be very important and on the short straight here, the KERS will definitely be a help, but not as much as elsewhere. All the same, it's good to be back in the fight for the top places and I will give it my best shot to try and win, because that's the only thing that matters."
Massa's qualifying session was not uneventful and even included a brush with the guardrail at the swimming pool section in Q1 which required him to stop for a new nosecone.
"The accident at the start of Q1? I had new brakes and the harder tyres, which struggled a bit more to get up to temperature, so as soon as I touched the brakes, I locked the wheels and ended up against the guardrail," he explained.