Massa reckons strategy cost him fifth
4 November 2013 – Ferrari driver Felipe Massa believes that an incorrect strategy choice cost him at least three places, and valuable points, during Sunday evening's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Brazilian, who led team-mate Fernando Alonso in the early laps after starting on Options, completed two subsequent stints with the Prime rubber. But he reckons a return to the softer tyre would have been more beneficial, given its pace advantage.
He ultimately finished eighth, narrowly behind Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta.
"Our strategy was based on a single stop, but when we realised that the wear was greater than expected, we decided to make a second stop so as not to take any risks," Massa explained to reporters. "Fitting the Mediums rather than the Softs was not the best decision, because the softer compound was quicker by at least a second per lap: I'd managed to do 19 laps on them in the first stint and it would not have been a problem to do the same in the final part of the race.
"It's a real shame, because we could have finished at least fifth [on the Soft tyres], but even if this is not the result we deserved, I am still pleased with my performance."
Alonso took the chequered flag in fifth position, escaping a post-race penalty after running wildly off the circuit when overtaking Toro Rosso rival Jean-Éric Vergne.