Felipe Massa acknowledges the importance of turning his P3 on the Monza grid into a "fantastic" as he bids to save his Ferrari career.
The 31-year-old secured his best grid position of this season on Saturday as he puts his F2012 up into third place, just 0.237s behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.
His first attempt at qualifying saw the Brazilian given a tow by his team-mate Fernando Alonso, who last returned to the pits with a damaged car.
Massa, though, was quick to point out that his best lap time, the one that assured him of P3, was done completely under his own steam.
"I think he [Fernando Alonso] had a problem to be honest; I thought he'd do well here. I don't know what problem he had but it was in Q3.
"I'm happy with the lap I did. We did the tow, but my best lap came when I was outside the tow at the end."
But despite being all smiles after qualifying, Massa admits there's pressure as Sunday's Italian GP is an "important" race for himself and his Italian team.'
"I think I know the pressure I have," said the 11-time grand prix winner.
"You always have a lot of pressure, and just need to concentrate on the race.
"It is an important race tomorrow for me and the team; let's concentrate on that. When you race for Ferrari you have a lot of pressure."
Looking ahead to Sunday's 53-lap Italian GP, Massa says he will go into it believing he can fight for the victory.
"We go to the grid to think about victory and doing maximum we can in the race," he said.
"[McLaren] are strong and quick; we know how different the race is compared to qualifying so I'll do everything I can.
"I am happy with the car. I am very happy with the performance and concentrated for the race.
"Unfortunately I've never won here in F1, but I'm always doing good races in F1. I enjoy it a lot, I lived close by when I did Formula Renault.
"I hope we have fantastic race tomorrow."
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