18 November 2013
United States Grand Prix: Massa: Second stop a gamble worth taking
Felipe Massa capped a frustrating USGP weekend by missing points that could have helped Ferrari's constructors' championship cause.
Felipe Massa says he had nothing to lose by making a second stop for fresh tyres in a US Grand Prix run largely to a one-stop strategy.
Having been unable to progress to the final phase of qualifying due an unspecified problem with his Ferrari, the Brazilian knew that making progress through the field would be a tough task on the sinuous Circuit of the Americas, even though Jenson Button's penalty promoted him to the cleaner side of the grid.
Struggling to get the best from either compound of Pirelli, Massa was unable to deal with the traffic jam that he then found himself in, and eventually opted to make a second pit-stop in the hope that there may be a twist in the tale that would reward the decision.
“It's been a really difficult weekend and I was struggling right from Friday, unable to get the tyres up to temperature or to run at a good pace,” he sighed, “At the start, I didn't make up any places and then, for all the race, I was stuck in traffic, on a
track where overtaking is not that easy.
“We knew that making a second stop was not the best choice, but I already found myself in a difficult situation and so we decided to risk stopping for a set of medium tyres. If anything had happened ahead of us, maybe a safety car, we might have profited from the situation. Unfortunately, nothing happened and the tyre wear of those ahead of me was very low, so I was behind them ending up in the same position from which I started. It's a real shame because we could have done better…”
Massa will be hoping for better fortune in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, as his home event coincides with his final bow for Ferrari. The pairing has won the race in the past, but knows that it will need a dramatic change of fortune if the relationship is to end on a high.
“We must keep concentrated for the final round of the season,” Massa insisted, “My final race with Ferrari, on my home track - it's bound to be a very emotional weekend because of that. I hope I can be more competitive there but, even if our rivals are
very quick, we will do our best right to the very end.”
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