Felipe Massa has said that third was the optimum result for them in the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, given that McLaren-Mercedes were clearly in a league of their own.

Although Felipe kept in touch with eventual runner-up Lewis Hamilton during the opening stint, he was unable to do so after his first pit-stop and the Brazilian seemed to struggle on the Bridgestone supersofts and lost considerable ground.

He eventually finished more than a minute off Fernando Alonso and Hamilton on a day when the F2007 was no match for the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-22.

"I think this was the best possible result I could have got today, given the pace of our closest rivals," said Massa. "At half distance, given the situation, I concentrated on just managing my race and bringing the car home.

"These six points are very important though: the championship is still very open and there is still a very long way to go. We tried to see if we could change the situation by using the extra soft tyres in the second stint of the race, but it did not make much difference."

Pressed on what the issue was, Felipe blamed traffic for some of the time lost, not that he thought it influenced the end result.

"The main problem today was the traffic: I lost a lot of time behind backmarkers, but I don't think that had any effect on the final result," he confirmed. "Today we were the inferior of the two teams, but we have all we need to get back to winning again, right from the next race."

Ferrari track technical chief, Luca Baldisserri meanwhile agreed that the better team won and that they just couldn't match McLaren.

"Today we were not competitive enough to win. We tried to change things about a bit with Felipe, switching to the extra-soft tyres at the first stop but this choice didn't pay off," he added. "We have to study the situation now and understand why our rivals were better than us, before tackling the double header in North America in better shape so that we can fight for the wins."



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