• Australian Grand Prix

Massa blames Ferrari's balance for 'poor' weekend

ESPNF1 Staff
March 18, 2012 « Grosjean blames Maldonado for crash | Tyres cost one-stopping Perez sixth »
Felipe Massa: "This has been a really poor weekend for me" © Sutton Images
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Felipe Massa blamed his dismal performance at the Australian Grand Prix on excessive tyre degradation caused by a poor balance in his Ferrari.

Massa started from 16th on the grid and was as high as ninth in the opening laps before slipping back down the order to 13th. He tangled with Bruno Senna towards the end of the race and the resulting damage forced him to retire.

Massa had been struggling with the balance of his car all weekend and said the inconsistencies in the car's handling forced him on to a three stop strategy and out of the running for points.

"This has been a really poor weekend for me," Massa admitted. "Already yesterday I suffered because the car was badly balanced and today, it was probably even worse, because after a few laps I was struggling with the tyres. I had got a great start and had managed to make up a few places and I was hoping to finish in the points.

"We tried to bring forward the first stop, but also on the second set of soft tyres we had the same problems: the car was sliding and the degradation was much greater than for the others. I would not say I was driving aggressively and I was actually trying not to be hard on the tyres, but there was nothing I could do. Even on the mediums, the situation did not change. We must work to understand why we could not reproduce the right balance on the car, as we had for example at the Barcelona tests."

Massa's race ended on lap 48 when Senna tried to pass him heading into turn four and the pair collided.

"As for the contact with Senna, I think we can consider it a racing incident," he said. "A Toro Rosso tried to pass me on the outside of turn three and Bruno had better traction on the inside, so we went into Turn 4 side by side: that's where we tangled and it ended as you saw it did."