Massa unsure if Monza will change future
10 September 2012 – A podium finish at Monza would have been the first for Felipe Massa since the Korean Grand Prix of 2010. The Brazilian eventually finished fourth after hard-charging Sergio Pérez, on a different strategy, dispatched of both Ferrari cars in the closing stages. He admits that it is uncertain whether or not the result will influence his future career.
From third on the grid, Massa immediately overtook Jenson Button before challenging the other McLaren of Lewis Hamilton for the lead. Button re-passed but then retired, leaving Massa fourth after Alonso and Pérez picked up the final two rostrum placings.
“I’m pleased with this result, even if I’d been hoping to make it to the podium,” said Massa, whose last Grand Prix victory came at the end of 2008. “We faced higher tyre degradation than we expected, very different to what we had seen on Friday in free practice - a shame because, while the tyres were still working, I could match the pace of the McLarens, but then I began to lose the rear end earlier than they did.”
Even with the benefit of hindsight, Massa does not believe that switching his race tactics would have yielded a better result.
“I don’t think a two-stop strategy would have worked,” he continues. “Looking at the data, for us it was definitely slower than a single stop. When the team had no telemetry, we spoke for a long time on the radio and, all in all, we were able to manage the situation in the best way possible.”
Many still believe that Pérez, who is a Ferrari development driver on loan to Sauber, will replace Massa and race alongside Alonso next season.
“I don’t know if this race changes anything regarding my future, but definitely the most important thing for now is to keep going like this, working with great concentration and trying to do my best for the team,” Massa concludes.
Massa has now moved into the top ten of the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of former Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher.