Massa helping Ferrari's strong start

Saturday - 3/23/2013, 9:44am EDT

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa of Brazil sits in his garage during the third practice session for Sunday's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, March 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

MICHAEL CASEY
AP Sports Writer

SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) -- After years of frustrations following his life-threatening injury, it seems Felipe Massa is back among Formula One's elite drivers.

Massa will start from second in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix after qualifying ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso for the fourth straight race. That's good news for a Ferrari team looking for its first title since 2007.

Massa has struggled since fracturing his skull in a crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009. He hasn't won a race since the injury. In 2011, he became the first Ferrari driver to go a full season without a podium finish, leading to speculation the team would replace him.

But he finished third in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix last year and has a chance to confirm he's back to his best on Sunday.


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