• Italian Grand Prix

Massa takes one for the team

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2013 « Raikkonen had pace to challenge Vettel | Strong defence pleases Ricciardo »
Felipe Massa let Fernando Alonso pass at the first chicane © Getty Images
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Felipe Massa said he let Fernando Alonso overtake him at the Italian Grand Prix for the good of the Ferrari team as he tries to hold on to his race seat next year.

Massa was running second when he let Alonso pass in order to allow his team-mate to take the fight to race leader Sebastian Vettel. Massa then dropped to fourth during the pit stops and stayed in that position until the end of the race.

"We know that it's not the best thing for a driver to do," he said when asked about letting Alonso pass. "But it's important for the team because looking at the championship it is pretty difficult with Sebastian winning all the time and it could be the last possibility for Fernando [to fight for the title], I think."

Massa said he thought he would have been on the podium had his race panned out normally.

"The result of the race was maybe not exactly what it was supposed to be," he added. "I had the pace to finish on the podium and I lost a position in the pits to Mark [Webber]. I lost a few seconds to let Fernando by as well and that was the biggest moment in my race. I think the pace was great and today was a race to finish in the top three for sure."

He said the result of the Italian Grand Prix would not affect his chances of a drive next year, but did hint that he may have to look elsewhere for a drive in F1 next year.

"I believe everybody knows me [at Ferrari], I don't believe one race shows what you are able to do," he said. "I think I've done a lot in my career and if that is important for Ferrari that is good and if not it can be important for another team."