Gifted a position by the slow-starting Mark Webber, Massa also out-tussled Lewis Hamilton
for second place over the course of the first lap allowing him and Alonso to close right up to the back of the Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull
over the opening two stints of the race.
But while Alonso then realised that he was losing time in the logjam behind the German and pitted on lap 20, Massa stayed out four laps longer - which proved to be the pivotal moment that dropped him behind his team mate for the rest of the afternoon.
"Maybe if we had brought forward the second stop, as Fernando did, the podium would have been within my grasp, but I am still very happy with my result," Massa insisted.
"We have shown that our car is competitive, with a good race pace and that is down to all the hard work done during winter testing," he added. "Definitely, we are at a good level, but now we must carefully analyse every smallest detail to try and improve our car."
"It is a very encouraging sign that we managed to get the most out of a weekend that was full of unknown factors, both in qualifying and the race," offered Alonso.
"We have only four days to work on the car to prepare for the next race and I think [Kimi] will again be a tough opponent," he added. "Now we can expect another weekend with very changeable weather and one that also puts a lot of stress on the cars from a mechanical point of view and on the drivers, from a physical one. But we can tackle it calmly on the back of this good result."