Felipe Massa said it was a great day for Ferrari after he took third in the Italian Grand Prix, giving the team a double podium after Fernando Alonso secured his third victory of the campaign.
Massa ran third throughout the race, pitstops aside, having been unable to get ahead of Alonso at the start, and also survived contact from Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap – which forced the McLaren man to retire.
While time lost in the pits may have cost him the chance to get ahead of Jenson Button into second, Massa admitted he was delighted with the result of the race, which marked only his fourth podium of the year.
"It was a great day for the team, with a super result in our home race,” he said. “I got a good start and maybe I might have made up a place, but I did not have good traction coming out of the second corner. Then I felt a knock and it was Hamilton who had hit into the side of my car: fortunately no damage was done. All race long the car worked very well and I was always competitive.
“The pit stop was not perfect and maybe the time lost there cost me second place. All the same, it was really nice to be on the podium: seeing all the people underneath it was incredible, with the whole straight packed with fans. It was a special feeling, especially as I feel I am part Italian. I am happy for the team and for our home crowd. Now there is much work ahead of us to prepare for the coming races, starting with Singapore. It won't be easy, but we are up for it. Personally, I will continue to fight for the wins and for the good of the team."
Technical chief Chris Dyer admitted that the 1-3 finish for the team was the ideal way for Ferrari to bounce back from a tough time in Belgium a fortnight earlier.
"A fantastic result for the team,” he said. “We had a difficult weekend, a fortnight ago in Belgium, but after that everyone put in 110 per cent effort to make up for it and be as well prepared as possible for this race. Everyone gave their all, on the track and at home over the past three days, starting with the drivers. It was not easy, as we had to adopt choices that were far from obvious, especially in terms of aerodynamic downforce and the set-up of the car. Then yesterday, Fernando produced a masterpiece in qualifying, which put us in the best possible shape to go after the win.
“There was a tense moment at the start and on the opening lap, but after that, we knew we had to wait and stop after our rivals to make up ground. We did just that, thanks to a combination of a perfect lap from Fernando and the fact the mechanics did an exceptional job in the pit stop. Felipe also drove a great race and it was nice to see both our drivers on the podium here in Monza. We know that if we can manage a perfect performance in the next five races, then we have a chance of winning."