Felipe Massa said he was delighted with the opening round of the 2010 F1 season after celebrating his return to the grid with a second place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Massa's career had been in doubt following his accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix last season, with the Brazilian forced to sit out the second half of the campaign due to the injuries he sustained after being struck by a spring which had broken away from the Brawn GP car of Rubens Barrichello.
Now fully recovered, Massa made his return in Bahrain, and qualified on the front row of the grid after outpacing team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Massa lost out to the Spaniard on the run to the opening corner but ran third behind Sebastian Vettel and Alonso through the first stint of the race. Maintaining his place after the pit-stops, the Brazilian was forced to take a conservative approach to the second half of the race due to the high temperatures but Vettel's exhaust issue allowed Massa through to second place behind Alonso as Ferrari started the year with a perfect 1-2 finish.
"I am very happy with this result and I want to thank all the team and our fans,” Massa said. “It is my best opening race of a season since I started in Formula 1 and, given all the problems we had, I am very pleased.
“We had to manage the temperatures on the car and, for around thirty laps, I was not able to push as hard as I could. At the start, I lost a place to Alonso, but then the car worked well with both types of tyre. With the softer tyres, the Red Bull was quicker than us, but on the harder ones we were much better.
“I want to thank one more time all those who have been close to me over these past months, writing and sending me messages. Now we must look to Australia to be as well prepared as possible."