• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Ferrari

Massa 'not happy' with Ferrari tyre strategy

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2013 « No penalty for Alonso in Abu Dhabi | Downbeat Hamilton blames self for poor results »
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Felipe Massa was left frustrated after he believes Ferrari put him on the wrong tyre strategy at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Massa started on soft tyres and managed to make them last 19 laps before making a pit stop to switch to mediums for his second stint. He then continued to lap 38 before pitting again and expecting to move onto softs for the final stint - a strategy team-mate Fernando Alonso used to great effect. However, Ferrari put mediums on Massa's car for the final stint, meaning he struggled to make progress and finished eighth while Alonso, who had been behind him in the second stint, took on softs and went on to finish fifth.

"We made a mistake," he said. "I didn't expect to use the medium in the last stint, I expected to use the softs. I did the 19 laps at the beginning and I was the best car on the soft and then we decided to stop at the last moment the second time and I expected to see the soft tyres on the car and it was the other ones. That was the mistake of my race, without this problem I would have finished easily in the top five.

"I would have got completely behind [Jean-Eric] Vergne and passed him in two laps, I would have passed [Lewis] Hamilton easily on the new tyres because I would have been one second quicker. That was the mistake. I didn't discuss [the strategy] with the engineers because the decision was clear [to me]."

Massa said it was frustrating that Ferrari had made the wrong strategy call as he is trying to fight for a place on the grid next year.

"It is [frustrating], I'm not happy because today I did a great race, fighting all the time and overtaking cars," he said. "It was a very good race and I didn't finish in the position I was supposed to finish in. It is a bit frustrating, but I think I showed a good race and good pace."

However, he ruled out any suggestion that Ferrari had sabotaged his race to boost Alonso's position.

"For sure not," he added. "The team needs points and the team would never do that to me. It is not really even close to my mind that the team would do something like that. I believe in the team and I will believe in them until the last moment, but today the first thing I said was that it was mistake because we could have scored more points today."

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