Hard race for Massa after losing wing
23 July 2012
Felipe Massa's hopes of building on the momentum of his recent return to form for Ferrari took an early hit at Hockenheim, after a first lap incident that cost him his front wing.
"I got away well, but then a Toro Rosso slowed suddenly in front of me and, despite trying to avoid him, I touched him with the front wing," said of the contact between himself and Daniel Ricciardo at the start of the race in Germany.
"I lost so much time coming back to the pits and my race was practically over at that point," he continued - adding that after this, "It was a very hard race for me, conditioned by the problem at the start.
"A real shame, because again today the car was very competitive, as Fernando demonstrated," Massa said, thoughts that were echoed by his team principal.
"A shame for Felipe who definitely had the pace to finish in the points," agreed Stefano Domenicali. "His race was ruined by the collision at the start and he is definitely not going through a lucky time at the moment!"
"We are disappointed for Felipe who paid a high price for the collision at the start," said Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry. "We tried to get him back in the race by seeing if we could do just one stop, but it was clear that wasn't possible.
"A shame, because the pace he showed throughout the race would have definitely seen him finish in the points, even starting that far back on the grid," he added.
Massa's underlying problem was that he was starting well down the grid in 13th place after a disappointing wet qualifying, which left him exposed to being caught up in the usual mid-field jostling for position. The Brazilian agreed that this was an area he needed to focus on for improvement.
"We must improve the situation in qualifying, trying to start further up the order," he said. "It's the easiest way to avoid problems at the start, like the one I was caught up in this afternoon."
The Hockenheim disappointment left Massa trying to look for the brighter side of things as Ferrari decamp to Hungary for this weekend's Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, in one of the quickest turnovers of the year between races.
"Obviously, I am not happy today, but the fact that I can count on a car that is getting better all the time in terms of performance, gives me confidence for the rest of the season," he said. "The tyres worked well, matching our expectations," he added.
"I think we should be on the pace in Hungary, as has been the case in the last few races."