After having his first taste of podium champagne at the NÃ¼rburgring, Felipe Massa was disappointed not to get a repeat performance in Spain but was not too surprised by Renault's competitiveness. Ferrari was quietly confident it could outdo...
After having his first taste of podium champagne at the N?rburgring, Felipe Massa was disappointed not to get a repeat performance in Spain but was not too surprised by Renault's competitiveness. Ferrari was quietly confident it could outdo Renault in Barcelona but Fernando Alonso was not to be beaten at his home race.
Michael Schumacher had to settle for second and Massa put in another strong performance to finish fourth. "It's proof of the progress we have made in recent weeks, that not finishing on the podium in Barcelona was disappointing," said the Brazilian. "But, when you get to the end of a race and know in your mind that you could not have done any better, then you have to be satisfied with the result."
Massa admitted that he did not think Renault would be so strong last Sunday and suggested that the higher than expected temperature may have helped the French squad. "Generally, our package was just not quick enough," he commented. "I was happy with our tyre choice and I think we took the one with the best performance for the race."
"The softer of the two Bridgestones was definitely too soft. Sure, we might have started on the front row if we had picked it, but after a couple of laps, we would have been in difficulty. I think maybe the heat tipped the balance slightly in favour of Renault last Sunday, as it was hotter than we had expected."
"But not just the heat, it was also down to the grip levels from the track. Now we know we still have to do some more work for the next few races. From what we have seen from the last three races, the close fight for the championship is going to go on."
"Even if we thought we could dominate on Sunday, we should not be too surprised that it did not turn out that way. Very small changes can make a big difference in this sport. If a team that is doing badly suddenly does well, then it's a surprise, but Renault has won the most races this year and both their cars started in front of us in Spain. So it's not that surprising they won! We know they are the team to beat."
Ferrari is testing this week at Fiorano and the Paul Ricard HTTT in France, where Massa is on duty. He set the second best time of the day on Tuesday, just two hundredths off fastest man Alonso. Team tester Luca Badoer was at Fiorano and is due to be replaced by Schumacher on Wednesday.