Felipe Massa claims his risk to switch to dry tyres a little too early ruined his hopes of challenging for victory in the Chinese Grand Prix, although he still managed his ninth podium of the season.

Out of the title battle and consequently out of the spotlight, Massa was a relatively anonymous factor throughout the race, spending the first stint in a comfortable third place between team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.

However, a charge by Alonso in drying conditions saw him slip past at the turn 13 hairpin, prompting Massa to take a risk at slick tyres straight away.

Although it proved to be fundamentally the right decision, a small shower almost straight away meant it took a few more laps for the dry weather tyres to come back into their element, time that Massa believes cost him a shot at challenging Raikkonen for victory.

"I had hoped to be fighting for the win, but the race was affected by the changing weather conditions. At the moment I switched to dry tyres, the timing was not ideal. The rain came back immediately and it was really difficult to stay on track. In any case, in these instances, it can pay off to take risks: sometimes it works out and sometimes not. After a few difficulties with graining, the situation to the extent that, in the final part of the race, I was going very well.

Nonetheless, Massa was otherwise pleased with an eventual third place finish and goes to the final round of the season in his home race of Brazil brimming with confidence.

"All in all, finishing on the podium in a race like this is very important and I am very happy for the team. There is one race to go: anything can happen and we must continue to work to stay ahead of our rivals."