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Bra GP - Race weekend recap - Massa

Felipe Massa's job last weekend was simple. Help Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso as much as possible in a bid to help the Spaniard take the F1 World Championship.

Over the course of Friday and Saturday, that job would have been to test various things and tyres and settings all with the idea of helping Alonso maximise his race race rather than his own.

Massa did a good job throughout Friday, just 0.5 seconds off fastest time in both sessions and Saturday was much the same story, 0.5 seconds down in FP3 resulted in a tenth place finish, whilst in Qualifying the same gap resulted in a fifth place, ahead of Alonso who could only manage eighth.

“It was a good qualifying: in Q3 I did a perfect lap, the most I could do with what I had. McLaren and Red Bull are quicker than us, but I am very pleased with the balance of my car. Now we must stay focused on the race, which will be anything but easy. Rain is expected and so anything can happen. In these conditions, just making it to the finish will be an achievement. Surprised at my position? Maybe some people might think I’ve just learned to drive at the age of thirty one, but joking apart, this is a result of the fact that from the mid-season onwards I have found myself ever more comfortable with the car and I have confidence in it to push hard. My approach to this race will be very simple: I will try to do my utmost for my home crowd and for Ferrari. I have a great car, even if it’s not the quickest in qualifying, but it is competitive in the race.” Massa said to following qualifying.

Massa enjoyed an excellent start to the race darting around both the Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and was alongside the McLaren of Jenson Button by the time the cars had reached the first corner.

He couldn't hold the move and had to settle for third place, but one lap later, Massa would pull off a super team move. With the Red Bull of Mark Webber all over the back of him and Alonso behind Webber, Massa forced Webber to attempt to overtake him around the outside of turn one, only for Alonso to swoop to the inside and take two places in one move with Massa holding off Webber, protecting his title challenging team-mate.

The following laps would show super driving from Massa, driving a completely different line to how he would normally race, holding off Mark Webber while protecting Alonso.

Following the re-start after a safety car period, Massa found himself a bit out of sink with the leaders of the race, but that wasn't going to bother Massa who began to fight his way back through the grid, with one excellent move around the outside of Vettel on lap 34.

Massa had actually got himself into second place with only five laps remaining, but he would complete his team drive by allowing Alonso to take that place, just in case Vettel was to have any further issues and hope Alonso could take the title.

He couldn't however, but it was fitting that Massa would have one of his best drives for many years at his home Grand Prix.

“It was very emotional for me to jump up on the podium at my home race. I cried like a baby, thinking back to how difficult this season has been for me, disastrous at first and then very competitive in the last part. Fernando should be proud of what he has done this year: he was able to win when the car was not perfect and fought right to the end, even if his car was not a match for those of his rivals. His championship has been truly spectacular! We too must also be proud of what we have done. Today’s race was very close fought and difficult and so many things happened. It was not easy to work out what was the right tyre as the conditions changed so quickly. At the start, when it began to rain, we had opted to stay out on track, but we did so for too long. Then, I found myself down in eleventh, but I began to go very quickly and overtake a lot of drivers. Who knows, maybe I could even have been in the hunt for the win today...The team kept me informed all the time about what the situation was on track and on what could be useful to do in the fight for the championship: I think I did the right thing, for my team and also for my fans.” Massa said after standing on the podium.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 29 2012

Time: 12:00PM


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