• European Grand Prix

Pit stop costs Massa fourth

ESPNF1 Staff
June 26, 2011 « Seventh was car's maximum - Rosberg | »
Felipe Massa lost out to Fernando Alonso at the start after initially getting the jump on his team-mate © Sutton Images

Felipe Massa says he could have challenged Lewis Hamilton for fourth place if it wasn't for a delayed pit stop in the European Grand Prix.

Massa got a good start and passed Hamilton off the line, but stayed out too long on his first set of tyres and came out behind the McLaren after the first round of pit stops. Hamilton was struggling to look after his soft tyres however, and Massa closed up before the second round of pit stops, where a problem with his left rear cost him valuable time. Massa said he felt Ferrari had a quicker car than McLaren today.

"It was a good race spent constantly fighting other drivers," Massa said. I tried to get the most out of the Option tyres because we reckoned that with the Prime, our pace was not at its best. It was a shame about the problem at my second pit stop, when I lost those four or five seconds which cost me the chance of fighting Hamilton for fourth place. I think that, from what have seen in performance terms, today we should have got both our cars ahead of the McLarens, and we only half succeeded in that.

"I got a very good start, passing Hamilton and Fernando. Then, I also tried to attack Webber, but he closed the door on me and we almost touched, so Fernando got the chance to go round the outside and pass me back. I had a few problems with my second set of soft tyres, but with the next one, which was even more worn at the beginning, things went much better. In the end, even the Mediums were not so bad and I was able to do competitive times with them."

With Pirelli intimating that it could use the medium compound tyre at Silverstone in two weeks time, Massa said that the harder tyres could cause Ferrari problems.

"Now we come to the Silverstone weekend. We will see if we will manage to confirm the progress that we have seen in the last three races. Also important will be what tyre choice Pirelli makes: clearly if they go for the Medium/Hard combination, it will be more difficult for us."