Felipe Massa scored his first podium of the season with third place in the Spanish Grand prix in Barcelona, and again showed that he can be a valuable asset for Ferrari in the quest for the constructor’s championship while fitting in to an effective ‘rear gunner’ role for Fernando Alonso. The Brazilian spoke on the podium and in the post race press conference, here are the highlights.
What a great drive, from ninth place on the grid [to third]. Felipe, are you back to your very best?
Felipe Massa: Yeah, I think so. For sure I was a little bit disappointed yesterday after the qualifying losing three places but anyway the race was very good for us, our car was fantastic. Very aggressive straight away. I gained back the positions. I think maybe in the first lap I was already sixth. Then overtaking cars. Struggling a bit with the tyres, to make it survive every stint in a good way but I think the race was very good for us.
Your first podium of 2013. You recovered from your penalty in starting ninth to finish in third today. What does this result say about you and Ferrari this season?
FM: Well, I think a bit disappointed for what’s happening yesterday. These things happen many times and no penalties happen so I’m disappointed with that. I didn’t cause him any issues for him in the qualifying, so I’m disappointed for that. The race was good. Very good start; very good beginning of the race; overtaking cars; trying to be aggressive, you know and passing people, which was the case. I tried to undercut people as well, stopping before. Maybe it was a little bit early as well. Looking at the end of the race I thought I maybe had the opportunity to fight with Kimi. But I think it was a great race, we did a good job. Our car was really superb for this track. The degradation on the tyres was not Lotus but I think we did the best as we’re supposed to do and we showed a good performance that I expected to have from Friday. I think we are [heading] in a good direction so I hope from now on we are fighting for the podium every race, especially in the race, which is where it counts. Qualifying we know is not easy for us. We are pushing very hard to improve the car, to make the car quicker in qualifying. But we know we have a good car for the race so I hope me and Fernando are having great races from now and until the end of the year.
And Felipe. Do you know where you are in the race at all times?
FM: Yes. You can see on the… [points]
When you left the pit at the last stop, you were ten seconds behind Kimi on new hard tyres, and Kimi had already pitted before you. Did you think it could be possible to overtake him?
FM: Well, first of all I was 15.5s behind Kimi, not 10s, so anyway, I was pushing hard to see if I could manage to catch him. I was catching him until lap six or seven by more than one second per lap but then maybe I was pushing too hard, I lost the tyres at the end, so I saw that maybe it was not possible to catch him so I started to save the rears more and the pace didn’t carry on like that. The only way to catch him was to push so I tried to push but it was not possible.