Felipe Massa scored points in the Mexican Grand Prix, but admitted afterwards that he could have done better on F1's return to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The Brazilian got a good start but was amongst those affected in the fall-out of the first lap clash between Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, having to slow as the German suffered a puncture and tried not to hinder the chasing pack. That not only allowed both Red Bulls to gain ground, but also saw Max Verstappen move ahead of Massa, although the veteran's position on track remained the same due to Vettel's problems.
Although Massa was able to retake Verstappen, and jump Ricciardo, by pitting a lot earlier during the first round of tyre stops, degradation on his rear Pirellis slowed his progress on the second stint, allowing the Australian to move back ahead on lap before both stop for the second and final time.
The appearance of the safety car to cover Vettel's second spin of the day should have presented Massa with one final opportunity to regain places, but the Brazilian admitted to not making full use of the opportunity and continued to trail Ricciardo to the flag, crossing the line a couple of seconds behind the Red Bull in sixth spot.
“It was a very positive race for the team, to have a good fight with Red Bull and come out with a podium is encouraging on a track that suits them better than it does us,” Massa noted, reflecting on team-mate Valtteri Bottas' third place, “From my perspective, however, it wasn't the best race.
“I struggled with the rear tyres in the second stint and lost one position because of it and, after the safety car, I didn't have the best run so, as a result, I didn't get the chance to pass the cars ahead. I am a little disappointed but, as a team, we can be really proud of the performance.”