Felipe Massa felt the eighth place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix felt like a victory, especially after the kind of weekend the Williams Martini Racing team had endured up until race day.
The Brazilian had crashed on Friday morning and sat out second practice as his mechanics repaired his car, before he acquired a five-place grid penalty on Saturday morning for ignoring yellow flags.
It did not get much better in qualifying, as he finished sixteenth fastest, but Sunday’s performance was a lot better, even if eighth isn’t exactly where they want to be, and there is still a lot of work to do to solve the problems that have affected them in the last few races.
“I’m very happy with the race today, it was like a victory,” said Massa. “Great start, great overtakes, good pace for the car we struggled with yesterday, so I’m really happy and also to be able to keep the cars behind at the end.
“I think today was a very intense race, but I’m so happy. I know eighth place is not a nice position, looking at everything I have achieved in my career, but today the way I drove the car and the way I drove in this race, it was definitely like a victory and I’m so happy.
“For sure there’s a lot to understand and improve in the car, like what wasn’t working in the last two races, but I’m happy with the perfect race I had today.”