F1 »

Massa blames poor strategy for costing him podium

Felipe Massa blamed Ferrari's choice to plump for a two-stop strategy rather than three for his loss of a podium finish in today's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai - but at least he beat team-mate Fernando Alonso...
Felipe Massa was left lamenting what he described as a strategic error at the end of today's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai – a race that had at one stage looked like yielding a rostrum finish for him, only to culminate in a 'disappointing' sixth position.

Having begun alongside team-mate Fernando Alonso on the third row of the grid, a better start for Massa enabled the Brazilian to move into fifth place on the opening lap, and he would subsequently pass McLaren-Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton prior to the first round of pit visits.

Arguably driving the best he has done since his sight-threatening Hungaroring qualifying accident in the summer of 2009, the 29-year-old maintained a consistent pace and performance throughout, and in the latter part of the race he found himself in second place, just three-and-a-half seconds adrift of leader Sebastian Vettel – yet the closing laps saw him cede positions to Hamilton, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and the charging Mark Webber, leaving him a downcast sixth at the chequered flag.

“It's a real shame not managing to finish this race in a better position,” Massa rued, telling Italian journalists immediately after the grand prix that 'it's clear that the others chose their strategy well [and] we didn't' since 'we had good pace at first – I was second – then I lost four places and there was nothing we could do about it'.

“It really seems that, from qualifying to the race, we discover another car – yesterday, we were not competitive, [and] today we fought with the leaders right to the end. Unfortunately, on the hard tyres we could not defend position all the way to the end. Now, it's easy to say that we were not on the right strategy, but we are a team and we take our decisions together. Vettel made the same choice as us, and we had reasonably similar pace.

“Probably we would have finished on the podium [on a three-stopper rather than just two], but we need to look into all the details with the engineers. I am happy with my race; I think it was my best this year, and maybe even the best including last year. We need to work out how to improve the car, especially in qualifying.”

Alonso, meanwhile, displayed little of his team-mate's brio during the race, spending too long tucked up behind the Mercedes Grand Prix of Michael Schumacher and crossing the finish line just seventh with the German right in his wheel tracks, a quarter-of-a-minute behind the sister F150° Italia and outpaced in terms of fastest laps by even the Team Lotus of Jarno Trulli.

“I made a bad start,” recounted the double world champion. “Felipe managed to get past me and a Force India nearly did the same, and then it was a good battle on the opening lap. After the first pit-stop, I lost too much time behind Michael, thus losing touch with the leading group. I found myself fighting him again at the end of the race, with our positions reversed. Once again, it was a good battle, but I would have preferred to have been doing it for a podium finish rather than seventh place.

“Unfortunately, our race pace was too slow and I don't think that a different strategy would have changed anything. I've had better Sundays in my career, but I won't get downhearted or lose confidence. We know we have to improve to get to the front – McLaren and Mercedes have managed it, and there is no reason to think we can't do the same.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.04.2011- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
16.04.2011- Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
16.04.2011- Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F150
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
15.04.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
17.04.2011- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia leads Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
16.04.2011- Qualifying, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
15.04.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
15.04.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
17.04.2011- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


zib - Unregistered

April 17, 2011 8:08 PM

@racingbeat if you read the actual thing he said post race at formula1 website, he didn't blame..it is crash that puts misleading headlines for more hits.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.