• Malaysian Grand Prix

Much work to do, says Massa

ESPNF1 Staff
April 5, 2010 « Whitmarsh aims to close gap in China | »
Felipe Massa leads Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button © Sutton Images
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Felipe Massa admitted the team has much hard work to do in the weeks ahead if it is to hold onto the lead of the drivers' and constructors' standings.

Massa could only manage to finish seventh in Malaysia, although the result saw him take the lead in the drivers' standings, two points ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

"All things considered, we did a good job in these first three races, as proved by the fact we lead both championships. However, there are still sixteen races to go and we know there is much room for improvement in terms of car performance and in making it totally reliable," said Massa.

"Given where we started from, seventh place is probably the best we could hope for. We tried to delay the tyre change as much as possible, also because over the past days it has always rained in the afternoon and if that had happened today, we would have been able to exploit any opportunity. Unfortunately, for once, the rain did not come. The soft tyres were quicker but probably at the start, the track was not rubbered in enough to get them working at their best, so our strategy was the right one."

Massa and Alonso enjoyed a close fight with the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as both teams misjudged their qualifying runs to finish well down the grid. Massa ended the race sandwiched between Hamilton and Button as his team-mate retired on the penultimate lap whilst chasing down Button.

"The duel with Button was very complicated: down the straights, he could always pull away, but when he made a mistake at the final corner, I was able to get close enough to overtake under braking for the first one. Today's race proves the need to fight on every lap of the championship: we have a lot of work to do, so we must keep focussed and not lessen our efforts."