• Brazilian Grand Prix

Forced two-stop strategy ruined my race - Massa

ESPNF1 Staff
November 27, 2011 « Alonso pleased with 'perfection' | Virgin signs Pic for 2012 »
Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa hug and make up after the race © Sutton Images
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Felipe Massa said there was no way he could fight the frontrunners at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday after he was forced to adopt a two-stop strategy.

Ferrari discovered a puncture on one of his three sets of soft tyres after qualifying, severely restricting his strategy options. After struggling for pace all weekend, Massa said he could never realistically challenge the cars three-stopping in front.

"It was a difficult race, at the end of a weekend that was not the best from a technical point of view," he said. "We never managed to find the right balance and then came the sting in the tail of the puncture we discovered yesterday, which robbed me of a set of softs for the race and thus meant I had to make only two stops. I knew it would be penalising because I would have to do a lot of laps on the medium, a tyre with which we have a bigger performance gap than on the softs when compared to our closest competitors.

"Sure, I would have liked to celebrate my 100th grand prix with Ferrari with a much different result, but I have to accept the way things went. In fact, the race pretty much summed up the season: reasonably good on the soft, then struggling on the harder compound. I was very pleased to feel the affection of the crowd, who supported me from the start to the end of the weekend. It's been a difficult year for me and the team and now we can turn the page. We must work on improving the car and I will do all I can never to have such a disappointing season again."

After the race Massa and Lewis Hamilton, who have collided six times this season, hugged in the Ferrari garage and put their differences behind them.

"I want to say I was pleased that Lewis came round to see me while I was talking to the journalists: it was a very nice gesture on his part," Massa added.