The Brazilian set the fastest time of 1m25.706secs, just 0.088s ahead of world champion Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was third on an eventful day at the Greater Noida track.
â€œItâ€™s always nice to be in first place at the end of a dayâ€™s work, however we know that Fridayâ€™s results are all relative,â€ Massa said.
â€œSure, it would be nice to move through the weekend in the same position, but that will be very difficult to achieve. Today, we concentrated on finding the best set-up on the car and on tyre behaviour on this new circuit.
â€œI like the track, it is very interesting and there are corners where driving skill can make the difference. In some places the actual track surface is very wide and so it will therefore be possible to take various different lines in the race, which could make overtaking easier.
â€œThe car seems competitive, but we must wait and see what McLaren and Red Bull can do tomorrow, as they are still very strong.
McLarenâ€™s Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest in the second session, over seven tenths down on Massaâ€™s mark having topped the times in the first session – but the Britonâ€™s run-ins with race stewards continued as he was handed a three-place grid penalty for ignoring double waved yellow flags in the morning session.
Vettelâ€™s Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was fifth quickest ahead of McLarenâ€™s Jenson Button, who was a second down on Massa as he looks to trump Webber in the race for second in the driversâ€™ championship.
Aerodynamic upgrades helped Force India get both cars into the top 10 at their home race, with Adrian Sutil seventh and Paul di Resta half a second slower in ninth, either side of Bruno Sennaâ€™s time in the Renault. Toro Rossoâ€™s SÃ©bastien Buemi rounded out the top 10.
Mercedes focused on long fuel runs in the second session, leaving both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg comfortably outside the top 10, behind both Team Lotus cars – but their first session pace proved they should make it to Saturdayâ€™s Q3 showdown.
Indian driver Narain Karthikeyanâ€“back in the HRT cockpit for his home race after being dropped earlier in the seasonâ€“was slowest around the 3.19m circuit, seven seconds off Massaâ€™s time, while Team Lotus gave a run in the morning session to Formula 1â€™s other Indian driver Karun Chandhok, who finished 19th quickest.
Sauber rookie Sergio PÃ©rez was also handed a three-place grid penalty for the same infringement as Hamilton as marshals attended to a stricken Williams.
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