Felipe Massa concedes it is going to be a tough task for Ferrari to close down the points gap to Red Bull Racing over the remainder of the season, judging by the advantage its title rival has enjoyed in Hungary this weekend.
With the looming summer break meaning teams will face a fortnight of not being able to work on development of their cars, hopes of cutting the deficit to Red Bull Racing before the Belgian Grand Prix appear slim. Massa readily admits that Red Bull Racing's rivals' best hope could well be the simple fact the Hungarian GP pacesetter has struggled so far this season to convert its single lap speed into race day results.
"The worry is what comes on these kinds of tracks, and for sure they are not easy to catch," said Massa, after seeing teammate Fernando Alonso left 1.2 seconds adrift of pole position man Sebastian Vettel.
"We know how difficult it is improving the car week by week. And, after so many races this season, you arrive here and you see them in qualifying more than one second faster, and you know that they have a very, very strong car for whatever track. They can always fight for pole position, so it is always a difficult point, but we know that they had some problems in the races this year which, if they don't solve, then it is also a still a possibility to be in the front and to reduce a big amount of points."
Massa says he was surprised by the level of advantage that Red Bull Racing has enjoyed in Hungary just one week after Ferrari was dominant at Hockenheim, but thinks the form fluctuates a lot depending on track characteristics.
"If you see the difference in qualifying it is a big surprise, definitely," he said. "But, knowing the track, knowing how they were in so many tracks where you need a good change of direction, a lot of braking or lateral forces, in this kind of situation they have a great aerodynamic advantage.
"There are some tracks where we work very strong -- like where there is a straight or straight-line braking, with chicanes or corners, and another straight or whatever. That is a little bit the case in Hockenheim, it was the case in Bahrain, and in this situation we are always strong. But you see that in this kind of track that they are really good and here they were really, really unbeatable."
Although Massa believes that Ferrari should be close to Red Bull Racing in race pace terms, he is not sure exactly by how much.
"Well for sure we will be much closer in qualifying definitely, how close it will be we need to wait and see," he said. "But definitely in the race we are always better compared to the qualifying."