Felipe Massa admitted the Canadian Grand Prix had been a race of mixed emotions for him, even if Ferrari acknowledged the Brazilian had brought home 'very important points' in the wake of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen's agonising exit.

After a solid start to the race around Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - running in sixth position, just behind Nico Rosberg in the Williams and Fernando Alonso's Renault - Massa was delayed when the field piled into the pit-lane en masse following the intervention of the safety car on lap 19, as no fuel went into his car and he had to stop again next time around.

That left the Bahrain and Turkish winner down towards the back of the pack, but impressive pace saw him fight his way back up again - at one point opportunistically passing two of his rivals at once as he took advantage of Heikki Kovalainen running wide through the hairpin whilst overtaking Rubens Barrichello - and come within just over a second of snatching fourth spot off a defensive Timo Glock in the Toyota by the chequered flag.

"It's hard to express my feelings after a race like this," the 27-year-old later reflected. "On the one hand I am disappointed because, without my refuelling problem, I could have been fighting for a place on the podium. On the other hand, I am happy to have brought home four points at the end of a very difficult race run on a track surface that was in really poor condition.

"Once I found myself at the back I tried to climb back up again, but in the end, when I was behind Glock, I could not get past him and also I didn't want to run the risk of ending up off the track after all the trouble I'd been to to get that far.

"I would like to congratulate [race-winner Robert] Kubica and BMW - they worked really well and deserved this success. They are very strong, but I think we are working in the right direction, as could be seen from our performance level every day here."

The Scuderia's team principal Stefano Domenicali and technical director Luca Baldisserri were similarly phlegmatic about the final outcome - one that saw the Maranello concern's advantage in the constructors' title chase dwindle from a handy 16 points to just three.

"Felipe drove an exceptional race," underlined Domenicali. "Unfortunately, we had a problem with the refuelling rig when he made a pit-stop during the safety car period - a joint in the fuel line broke and no fuel went in - and we had to call him in next time around for a further stop that dropped him to the back of the field.

"Felipe did not lose heart and produced a great climb up the order, which ended up with him finishing fifth. These are very important points, which allow us to maintain our lead in the constructors' championship."

"I would like to pay a great compliment to Felipe, who drove a fantastic race after the problem we had at his first refuelling stop," concurred Baldisserri. "Dropped to the back of the pack, he managed to climb his way up the order to finish fifth, pulling off some very nice passing moves and showing what he is made of and what the F2008 can do.

"Compared to how these last two races (Monaco and Montreal) went last year, we have definitely made a real step forward in performance terms, but for various reasons we have not picked up the results that were within our grasp. Now we must immediately turn this bad sequence around and get back to our usual standards."

 

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