Felipe Massa cursed a 'bitter' second place finish in the European Grand Prix, a late shower costing him an otherwise richly deserved victory having led the race for almost its entirety.

Massa was visibly frustrated to have finished second behind Fernando Alonso having spent much of the race gradually building a lead over the Spaniard in the dry conditions.

At the start, the Brazilian had made the most of Kimi Raikkonen's error entering the pit lane to reach his pit garage as the leading Ferrari, thus gaining key preferential treatment to wet tyres. It was a crucial moment that allowed him to emerge ahead of Alonso and once he had disposed of Markus Winkelhock at the restart, gradually put air between himself and the McLaren.

However, when Alonso began to make in-roads into Massa's lead following the final fuel stop, it was clear the race was still on for the victory. It was something that became more acute when the rain began to fall once again, prompting a desperate dash to the pit lane for wet tyres.

Clearly quicker on the newer rubber, Alonso broke the gap down quickly and hounded Massa over a couple of laps before making a daring manoeuvre around the outside of turn five, a move that clearly caught Massa by surprise as he watched victory slip away.

Indeed, Massa was distraught by the final result having dominated for much of the race, ruing an imbalanced car in the rainy conditions.

"A second place that leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth," he Brazilian said. "I had driven a strong race right up until the last rain shower, then once I had the rain tyres on, I immediately felt vibrations which made the car very unbalanced. And that, after I had been really strong when it had been wet in the early stage of the race.

"In the dry, I managed to gradually make up ground on Alonso because the car was great. I was lucky at the start because I managed to stay on track when the conditions meant it was almost impossible, but then I was not so lucky at the end. But that's racing and I have to accept it."

Massa also explained the topic of conversation he had with Alonso before going onto the podium, namely about the move he made that caused plenty of raised eyebrows - and arms - in the Ferrari garage.

"The discussion with Fernando? I was a bit on edge but then he apologised and that was the end of it. The positive side is that I have made up a lot of ground in the drivers' classification. There is still a long way to go this season and we have to be confident."

 

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