• Malaysian Grand Prix

Poor first stint ruled out podium - Massa

ESPN Staff
March 24, 2013 « Alonso thinks retirement was 'extremely bad luck' | Wheel nut issue frustrates Force India »
Felipe Massa dropped from second to sixth in the opening lap © Sutton Images
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Felipe Massa said graining on the intermediate tyres during his first stint of the race ultimately ruined his chances of fighting for a podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Massa started second on the grid but could only manage fifth place by the end of the race after losing four positions at the start and making a very early pit stop on lap five.

"The biggest problem at the beginning of the race was the graining I was having on the tyres," he explained. "I lost a lot of positions because of that and a lot of time compared to the guys in front, maybe 0.3s per lap. In the dry it was fine and the pace was good so if it was not for this problem at the start of the race maybe I would have had a chance to fight for the podium.

"For sure, when you start second and you finish fifth you cannot say you are happy. You always expect to fight for the podium but if you see what happened at the beginning of the race then it could have been worse as well. It is important to bring points home and fifth after the first stint was not so bad."

He said the performance of the car in the dry did offer some positives to take to the next race in China.

"It was much more acceptable in the dry for sure," he said. "I was happy with the balance and the pace. The degradation was not really much better than all the cars in front or much worse, it was maybe similar. But definitely it was acceptable pace for the dry."