Team target Toyota and third in the championship
Felipe Massa returned to the podium yesterday for the first time since he took the chequered flag and won the season finale last year in Brazil.
After a poor start to the season that saw the Brazilian out of the points
for the first four Grand Prix, the Ferrari star has secured points in the last five events, culminating in his third position yesterday afternoon in Germany.
“To be honest I missed to be here, to be in top three," Massa said. "It was a fantastic race. I did a fantastic start, passed many cars.”
Massa started the 60-lap race from eighth position with a relatively heavy fuel load. While he frustrated those behind with his initial pace, he was most happy with the eventual outcome.
“I was struggling a lot with the soft tyres at the beginning like most of the people but fortunately I could manage to stay in front of Sebastian (Vettel) and managed to put out a good pace after a while,” he explained. "When we put on a second set of tyres I think that was very important for the race, to have a good pace at that stage.
“I am very happy. I am very happy that everyone in the team did a great job on the strategy, on the pit stops, so I think having a good result like this, a podium will definitely motivate the people to keep working, to keep pushing hard and preparing a good car for the end of the championship and especially another great car for next year.
Despite team-mate Kimi Raikkonen
failing to finish due to an engine issue, the Italian team have made further roads into Toyota’s advantage in the constructors’ championship. Just 2.5 points now separate the two teams in the battle for third position overall behind the dominant Brawn and Red Bull pair.
“It’s a nice feeling to be back on the podium and this result for Felipe is a good reward for all the effort put in by him in producing a perfect race and by all the team, at the track and in Maranello,” declared Team Principal Stefano Domenicali. “A shame for Kimi who could have secured a good finish: it was really unlucky.
“Our aim, as we’ve already said is to finish third in the constructors’ championship and today’s result has helped us make up some ground on the squad ahead of us,” Domenicali continued. “However, we have to work very hard to succeed, because this season is still very hard to interpret.”