They were once rivals, later teammates and at the Japan Grand Prix on Sunday the extras in the battle for victory: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa fought in Suzuka for the tenth place and the last World Cup point.
The Brazilian had the better end for himself, After the finish, however, seemed more unhappy than his counterpart: it was a difficult race. I didn’t get to the tempo,”said Massa.
The mood is understandable. Massa fell back in the race of starting place eight, Alonso ploughed back in the starting position of last position coming through the field and launched interesting overtaking manoeuvres.
“It was a good catch-up with only one pit stop,” the Spaniard stresses, that he could not have relied on tactical manoeuvres.
Alonso: “The situation was unhappy”
Nevertheless, there was no happy ending for Alonso. After the change of momentum and the penalty, we would have earned points,”he says, regretting that he was no longer able to attack Massa in the last rounds. The situation was unfortunate. Felipe had trouble with the tires, but then came the virtual safety car. He was able to catch his breath,”said Alonso, who was arrested by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s hotly debated lap of the race.
“Two laps before the end the leaders caught up with us and he was able to recover,”argues the former champion, who had to settle for rank eleven, without ever being pulled out of Massa’s shadows.” The Williams driver believes that even the rounds in an unfavourable place would not have helped him: “I was there in the middle of the S-curves and I let them pass, When I could.”
Massa protects magnets
A consolation was the last WM point for Massa after poor performance and problems to find grip with both surprisingly rapidly degrading tire mixtures, not:”With the placement I am not happy, Because I wasn’t fast enough.”The difficulties became clear when Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean had left him in front of the Alonso scene. The Haas were much faster,”Massa admits.
He is not angry because of the hard work of the Dane, who sat in a curve two tightly inside beside him and squeezed past with a near-contact.” Either he would have overtaken me on the spot or later,”Massa stays cool. In his view, a possible collision would simply have been bad luck and not Magnussen’s fault: “My right mirror did not work. I didn’t realize he was next to me.”