Felipe Massa admitted that he had rarely had to fight so hard for an F1 podium finish as he did with Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas at Monza.

The Brazilian had run in the top three early on in the race, but lost out to the recovering Nico Rosberg after the German got the undercut at his one and only pit-stop. Emerging from his own stop ahead of Bottas, Massa then inherited the final podium spot when Rosberg's Mercedes failed in the closing stages, but found that he had to fend off a very feisty Finn in the race to the flag.

"It was very tough - I'm getting too old for that!" Massa enthused, "The last three laps of the race, I was fighting with my team-mate and it was very difficult, but we managed to be here and I am so happy. Woohoo!"

Having decided to pit ahead of schedule to try and prevent Rosberg taking advantage of his own early stop, Massa was always going to be at a disadvantage when Bottas took his rubber as far as he dared on the first stint, giving him better performance in the closing stages.

"The start was okay, not the fantastic start I [wanted], but it was really good to overtake cars and manage to be in position compared to the guys behind," the veteran reflected, "Trying to open the gap against Valtteri, I went to the pit-stop a little bit earlier, and then he stayed on track for a few more laps, which helped his tyres a lot for the end of the race.

"I opened the gap anyway, and had the lap times to maintain the gap, but then, at the end, I lost performance on the rear tyres and he was catching me with better tyres. The last three laps were pretty difficult - he was catching me a lot and he was quicker than me. The problem was that he had better traction, but I managed to fight and get to the podium, so I am so happy for the position and for the team, which scored great and fantastic points today."