Felipe Massa is expecting a tight battle between the top three teams at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend and believes tyre strategy will play a big part.

11204 - Tyre degradation is 'significant' - Massa

The top five drivers were separated by just over 0.5s in Friday practice with Massa a further 0.5s behind after a mistake on his hot lap. The Ferrari driver reckons there will be little to choose between the front runners in qualifying and is expecting tyre strategy to be the defining factor when it comes to the race on Sunday.

"We got through a lot of work, especially in terms of comparing the two Pirelli tyres," Massa said. "The first signs are that degradation is significant, both on the prime and the option, which will be a decisive factor when it comes to strategy. I think we will witness a very close contest between the usual three teams, Red Bull, McLaren and ourselves. It will be not be easy to get a useful grid position, but it will be very important to do so, because I think that, despite everything, overtaking at this track will still be very difficult."

Massa added that his best lap on Friday was not representative of the Ferrari's true pace.

"I was not able to do a quick time on my first lap with the supersoft, because I ran wide at Turn 9, so today's lap time is not totally representative of the potential at my disposal: the tyres degrade easily so you have to give it your best immediately."