Massa - Pole is crucial
Brazilian believes qualifying will make or break Singapore hopes
Ferrari racer Felipe Massa has highlighted the importance of a strong qualifying session ahead of Sunday's crucial Singapore Grand Prix.
The Brazilian heads to Asia just one point behind world championship leader Lewis Hamilton after the Briton lost his Belgian Grand Prix appeal on Tuesday.
And Massa has stressed the importance of claiming pole knowing that overtaking opportunities will be few and far between on the Singapore circuit.
"Saturday will be very important," he said of the qualifying session that will be held at 10:00 pm with Singapore making history as the sport's first-ever night race.
"I've never driven on the Singapore track but it'll be even more difficult to overtake compared to Valencia, because the straights are even shorter," the 26-year-old told the Straits Times newspaper.
Massa won in Valencia - another street circuit new to the calendar this year - after starting from pole position.
Singapore will have several overtaking possibilities, the best at the end of Raffles Boulevard, but Massa admits street circuits are notoriously difficult for overtaking with the way cars are now designed.
"These days it is not very easy to overtake in Formula One, the cars have great aerodynamic downforce," said Massa.
"When you are behind a car, you lose downforce."
Rain is another potential hazard come Sunday. Singapore was lashed by wet weather on Wednesday, and Massa would prefer a dry track.
"I would prefer it to be dry in Singapore, but we can do well and have a consistent race in the wet as well," he said.