Felipe Massa says he is targeting a place on the podium in the Italian Grand Prix, but that it will be "very difficult" from his sixth-placed grid position.

11677 - Massa targets 'difficult' podium

At Ferrari's home race, Massa was almost a second slower than pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel during qualifying, and two positions behind his team-mate Fernando Alonso. With the higher track temperatures and emphasis on traction, Massa said that looking after the rear tyres would be crucial if he was to get close to claiming a top three finish in front of the Tifosi.

"Tomorrow, I expect the race will be very close and difficult and rear tyre degradation will be one of the key factors," Massa said. "As usual, strategy will be decisive and I hope I can do well. This is a very important event for Ferrari and we are keen to give our fans something to cheer about. The target? A place on the podium, but I know it will be very difficult."

Looking at the qualifying session itself, Massa said he had got as much as he had expected out of the car, but that he may have been able to slightly improve his position if it hadn't been for a slight error on his final lap.

"All things considered, it was a good qualifying, though definitely not an easy one, because we knew there were some very quick cars out there. The result is pretty much in line with our expectations going into the session. We worked well, trying to fine tune the car in one session after the next. In Q3, on my final run, I had got a good tow behind Michael [Schumacher], but then, I pushed a bit too much and lost precious time at the second chicane and the Lesmo corner. Maybe I could have been one or two places further up, but definitely nothing more than that."