Felipe Massa insisted he was pleased with fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix, despite admitting he had hoped to secure a place on the podium in front of the tifosi
The Brazilian enjoyed his best weekend of the season at Monza to outqualify Ferrari
team-mate Fernando Alonso
for the first time in 2012 before then going on to equal his best result of the year on race day.
Having run as high as second, Massa looked set to finish on the podium alongside Alonso before losing out in the closing stages of the race to a charging Sergio Perez – leaving him to reflect on a missed opportunity for a top three result.
“I'm pleased with this result, even if I'd been hoping to make it to the podium,” he said. “We faced higher tyre degradation than we expected, very different to what we had seen on Friday in free practice. A shame, because while the tyres were still working, I could match the pace of the McLarens, but then I began to lose the rear end earlier than they did. It was not an easy race: towards the end, Perez came back at me very strongly and there was nothing I could do to fend him off. I worked for the team, trying to help Fernando, which is as it should be. I have always done it and will do it whenever it's necessary.
“I don't think a two stop strategy would have worked: looking at the data, for us it was definitely slower than a single stop. When the team had no telemetry, we spoke for a long time on the radio and, all in all, we were able to manage the situation in the best way possible. I don't know if this race changes anything regarding my future, but definitely the most important thing for now is to keep going like this, working with great concentration and trying to do my best for the team.”
Massa's performance also drew praise from team boss Stefano Domenicali after a difficult campaign that has seen the Brazilian's position within the team called into question.
“Felipe proved to everyone, not to us, because we knew already, that he is a driver who can fight for the very top spot,” he said, “and that at Ferrari, we work as a team, united in our efforts to reach the targets we set ourselves.”