• Malaysian Grand Prix

Podium was possible without slow pit stop - Massa

ESPNF1 Staff
April 10, 2011 « Webber laments KERS failure | »
Felipe Massa fiished fifth after a slow pit stop cost him time © Getty Images

Felipe Massa believes a slow first pit stop cost him a potential podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Massa was running fifth before his first stop but a problem removing the front-left wheel dropped him to eighth. The Ferrari had much stronger pace on Sunday than it did in qualifying and Massa believes he could have used that to fight Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber ahead of him if things had gone more smoothly.

"It was a shame to have lost valuable seconds at my first pit stop: but for that problem, I could have fought my way to a podium place," he said. "With the soft tyres my pace was very good, less so on the hards, to such an extent that Webber, who in addition had made one more stop, managed to pass me."

After finishing fifth he said his team's main focus going forward had to be improving the single-lap pace of the car.

"We definitely have to improve the car, but it's equally true that our race pace is very different to our performance in qualifying," he added. "That's a positive, but we know that grid position is nevertheless very important, so we have to move forward on this front."