• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Massa insists Ferrari plan worked

ESPN Staff
September 7, 2013 « Sutil hit with three-place grid penalty | Mercedes should have troubled Red Bull for pole - Rosberg »
Fernando Alonso complained that Felipe Massa was too far ahead of him before starting the final Q3 run © Getty Images
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Felipe Massa insisted Ferrari's attempts to give Fernando Alonso a tow during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix had been successful.

Alonso appeared to be angry over the radio to Ferrari as he complained that the gap to Massa was too big shortly before starting his final flying lap. However, despite Massa eventually qualifying ahead of Alonso he insisted that the strategy had been effective and that his own pace was only down to being able to get a tow off the car in front.

"I think it was good," Massa said. "To be honest I was four or four and a half seconds behind [Mark] Webber and Fernando was three and a half behind me, so the tow was completely what we predicted in terms of seconds. You don't need to be very close behind the car; if you are very close then your lap time will be slower, so you need to be between three and four seconds behind another car."

Massa also said his own qualifying chances were being hurt by having to lead Alonso throughout.

"It was very difficult for me because giving the tow to somebody and not having a tow for sure you lose maybe a tenth or a tenth and a half or something like that. I managed to have the tow just once in Q3 and it was the most important lap which was the last one. So it was my best lap, I managed to have Webber in front by four seconds and that was enough to pick up a little bit of a tow, and I think that was very important for me to be able to pick it up at the right time as Fernando was always behind me all the time."

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