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Felipe Massa was left truly downhearted after a calamitous 2012 season-opener in Melbourne. The Brazilian, whose weekend began with a spin into the gravel on Friday, qualified only 16th before ending his race after a clash with Bruno Senna.
Battling with Daniel Ricciardo but losing ground in the process, Massa was pounced upon by compatriot Senna at the left-hander of Turn 4; the Ferrari and Williams locked together, as both men labelled the moment a racing incident.
“This has been a really poor weekend for me,” Massa said on Sunday evening. “Already yesterday I suffered because the car was badly balanced and today it was probably even worse, because after a few laps I was struggling with the tyres.
“I had got a great start, and had managed to make up a few places, and I was hoping to finish in the points. We tried to bring forward the first stop, but also on the second set of Soft tyres we had the same problems: the car was sliding and the degradation was much greater than for the others. I would not say I was driving aggressively and I was actually trying not to be hard on the tyres, but there was nothing I could do. Even on the Mediums, the situation did not change.
“We must work to understand why we could not reproduce the right balance on the car, as we had at the Barcelona tests. As for the contact with Senna, I think we can consider it a racing incident. A Toro Rosso tried to pass me on the outside of Turn 3 and Bruno had better traction on the inside, so we went into Turn 4 side-by-side – that’s where we tangled and it ended as you saw it did.”
The result continued Massa’s dismal Albert Park record, as the Paulista has retired from six of the ten races he has started in Australia.
|2.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||+2.139|
|4.||M. Webber||Red Bull||+4.547|
|9.||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||+39.556|
|10.||P. di Resta||Force India||+39.737|
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