Massa “Cannot Celebrate” Finishing Ninth

Credit: Glenn Dunbar / Williams

Felipe Massa recovered strongly from starting 17th on the grid to collect two points from the Austrian GP, but says finishing in ninth is nothing to celebrate.

The Brazilian took advantage of a first corner melee in which Daniil Kvyat collected both Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen, allowing him to sneak past on the inside and move into the Top 10 at the beginning of the race. He acknowledged the good fortune which befell him at the start, but made clear his team must aim for more.

“For sure you cannot celebrate a ninth position but starting 17th it was a fantastic race for me,” he said. “I had a really good start, getting through the issues that were happening in corner one, and overtaking cars.

“It was a fantastic first lap as the pace was great, compared to qualifying, which is something we need to work to understand so that we don’t repeat starting out of position like today.”

Massa put in the longest stint of the race from the start, gaining around 10 seconds on Esteban Ocon ahead thanks to his tyre strategy, but ultimately could not challenge the Force India driver for eighth place.

“At the end of the race it was a bit disappointing not to be able to pass Ocon, but I was just losing a lot of grip in the high-speed corners behind him, and he had good speed on the straight so it was quite difficult.”

Massa remains 10th in the championship after Austria, marginally increasing his buffer to team-mate Lance Stroll and Renault driver Nico Hülkenberg to four points, the chasing duo currently tied for 11th on 18 points apiece.