Felipe Massa has admitted he was disappointed by Ferrari’s choice of strategy at the Australian Grand Prix after losing a position to team-mate Fernando Alonso at the second pit stop.
Massa led Alonso for the first two stints of their races, spearheading Ferrari’s pursuit of the early race leader Sebastian Vettel. But at the second pit stop Alonso was called in to the pits before Massa, allowing Alonso to take on fresher tyres earlier and use the extra pace to come out ahead of both Massa and Vettel when they made their stops.
Asked whether he was pleased with how his strategy panned out, Massa said: “No, I’m not pleased. When you are there fighting with a car and I was second and close to Sebastian and then suddenly a car behind stops … he [Alonso] stopped pretty early to be honest – it was a risk, but it worked.
“Looking at the degradation we had on Friday we had 15 laps on the tyre and he stopped after lap 11 on the tyre. It was a risk, but it worked, the track improved after and it was much better to keep the pace with more rubber on the track and he didn’t have any car in front. It worked.
“For sure when you are behind it’s always easy to stop before and try to take a risk, but it worked. For sure, you are always a little bit disappointed to lose two positions and then after I was always behind and trying to overtake and I was using a lot the tyres as well. I’m a little bit disappointed because of this but overall I’m happy and the way we started the season was very positive.”
Massa thinks Ferrari has quite clearly made a step forward with its car over the winter.
“If you look at the last three races [of 2012], we started maybe some races behind Force India, some races behind Williams and the difference between us and these teams in qualifying, for example, was quite good. This shows that we made a big step forward compared to last year and the last race.
“It’s not just us, for sure Mercedes made a big step forward and Red Bull as well. But if you compare to most of the teams it shows that our job to prepare the car over the winter was really good and in the right direction.”
Info: ESPNF1, Image: Ferrari