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Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 19:40 UK

Massa expects Ferrari improvement

Felipe Massa
Massa trails Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings

Felipe Massa believes Ferrari will provide a strong challenge at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix after resolving their technical problems.

Ferrari lacked pace at the German Grand Prix, with Massa finishing third at Hockenheim and Kimi Raikkonen sixth.

That poor performance allowed McLaren's Lewis Hamilton to open up a four-point lead in the drivers' championship.

But Massa said: "Things will be different in terms of our performance. I'm confident we can be competitive."

Ferrari duo Massa and Raikkonen were involved in a three-way tie with Hamilton at the top of the drivers' standings before the German Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

But McLaren went on to dominate in Germany, with Brazilian Massa suffering brake problems and his Finnish team-mate struggling for grip.

"We understand for sure now many of the things that happened in the last race, although we won't go into the detail," added Massa ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix in Budapest.

"It would be easy to say that McLaren are now the favourites because they have won the last two races and they are suddenly the kings.

"But before those two races they were not the kings and were being strongly criticised. We are now just past the midway point of the championship and there is still a long way to go."

With eight races remaining, Ferrari hold a 16-point lead over BMW Sauber and a 19-point advantage over McLaren in the constructors' championship.

Hamilton predicted he and the two Ferrari drivers would be "fighting very hard" in the front of the grid this weekend.

"Ferrari still have a fantastic car and two very quick drivers," said the 23-year-old Englishman.

"Every time you come to a race you are looking out for them and all your rivals - the BMWs, the Renaults are quick and the Red Bulls too.

"You have to focus on your job but bear in mind that they will be very quick and hunt you down."

see also
Hamilton to keep attacking style
30 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Lauda hails 'unbeatable' Hamilton
21 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Still a long way to go - Hamilton
20 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton fights back for victory
20 Jul 08 |  Formula One

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