Massa struggles to explain tyre woes
21 April 2013 – Felipe Massa was left downcast following a poor result in this afternoon’s Bahrain Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver finished well down the order in 15th after experiencing a catalogue of problems, including a first-lap collision with the Force India of Adrian Sutil, and two suspected tyre delaminations that forced him onto a four-stop strategy.
Massa was the only driver in the top ten to start on the Hard compound tyres after a successful strategy gamble in qualifying, and had looked set to be a dark-horse in the battle for the victory. But the Brazilian failed to capitalise on his supposedly longer-lasting rubber, coming in early for Mediums on Lap 10, and was at a loss to explain his Ferrari's greater-than-expected tyre degradation throughout the race.
"I was really unlucky in this race and even if it’s true that many things can happen in this sport, I can’t find an explanation for why so many of them have to be negative," said an exasperated Massa, "At the start, I lost ground after the collision with Sutil and then I lost even more time coming back to the pits to change tyres and that wiped out any chance of having a good race. I suffered a bit with understeer, but I don’t believe that was the cause of my problems, while we still need to check what happened to my tyres that failed in this way.
"In the first instance it was probably delamination on the right rear and in the second it might have been due to a puncture. Now we must try and understand exactly what happened and immediately turn our attention to the next race."
Massa sits fifth in the championship standings after Sunday's race, trailing team-mate Fernando Alonso by 17 points, and 47 behind current leader Sebastian Vettel.