Felipe Massa says his improved form in Monaco was down to discovering that the setup required for the Ferrari F2012 on the slow street circuit suited him better than previous settings, and now hopes it can be adapted for future races.
Monte Carlo was Massa's most competitive performance of what has been a tough 2012 season so far. The Brazilian had previously failed to make it into Q3 or finish above ninth, but in Monaco, Massa qualified seventh and finished as part of the six-car lead train in sixth. Now he is eager to see if the lessons learned in Monte Carlo can be carried over to future races so that he can maintain his stronger pace.
"The setup required for Monaco is very different to that at other tracks and, even if the street circuit is unique, we can at least follow the direction we took there and make it work at other tracks," Massa said. "It might not be a normal situation, but maybe it is the best direction to go in to make the F2012 work for me.
"It's true that there are fewer places that exert high lateral forces on the car at Monaco and dealing with those forces was a weak point with our car. We have even tried this approach in the simulator, but sometimes, it's not easy to get a clear answer there, which is why we keep experimenting at the racetracks."
Massa underlined that he was still far from content and wanted to be a lot higher than sixth, while acknowledging that Monaco had been a morale boost.
"I definitely feel more confident now," he said. "I feel stronger as well and it's also true that if Monaco was a good race, I was not that happy because, after the work I had done right from first practice, I had expected to be fighting for a podium finish. We had a chance of doing that, we had a good enough pace, but a better qualifying performance would have improved our chances on Sunday.
"It was very good compared to the start of the season, but we cannot be satisfied and now I want us to work hard to get something more. If we find the right direction, I know what I can do."