Felipe Massa was left to reflect on just how big the refuelling error in qualifying in Hungary could prove to be after losing vital ground in the race for the Formula 1 title.

The Ferrari ace was forced to start down in 14th place on the grid at one of the most difficult circuits for overtaking, which put the Brazilian firmly on the back foot going into race day - with title rivals Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and his own Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen having qualified inside the top five.

Although he made up some ground at the start when the lights went green, Massa soon lost them again coming out of the first turn and saw any chance of getting into the points vanish soon after when he found himself stuck behind the Super Aguri of Takuma Sato.

However, despite slipping 21 points behind leader Hamilton as a result of his disappointing 13th place finish, Massa said that he won't stop fighting in his quest to secure a first title, with it vital that he returns to form in Turkey in three weeks time.

"It was a horrible race; there are no other words to describe it," he said. "At the start, I managed to pass some cars but at the exit to turn one, I lost position again. Then, at the next corner, I tried to pass Wurz but I ran wide and Sato also got past me. At that point, any hopes I had just evaporated.

"I had a very heavy car and lost downforce every time I tried to close on other cars. It's been a weekend to forget but I have not lost confidence. We know we have a good car and we must return to winning as soon as possible, starting in Turkey. We must not give up."

Technical director Luca Baldisserri admitted that the qualifying issues had been key to how Massa's race had panned out - with further work needing to be done to improve the team's performance during qualifying as a whole.

"We cannot be happy with this result," he said. "We saw we had a very competitive race pace but the outcome of qualifying made the situation very difficult especially for Felipe, who was almost never able to run with a clear track ahead of him. Kimi did his best, starting well and always attacking Hamilton, but on this track, overtaking is an impossible task.

"Apart from the mistakes made with Felipe yesterday, in certain conditions we have serious difficulties in doing a time over the first timed lap, as was clear to see yesterday. We have to analyse the situation well to improve our performance in this area."

 

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