Felipe Massa believes he did a good job of giving Fernando Alonso a tow in Italian Grand Prix qualifying despite the controversy over Ferrari’s tactics.
Alonso appeared to criticize Ferrari’s attempt to pull off a slipstreaming strategy in Q3, although he later insisted that television broadcast of radio messages had been misleading.
Although Alonso was heard to say “Felipe is too far away” at one point, Massa reckons he judged the situation perfectly.
“I think it was good,” said Massa. “I was four and a half seconds behind [Mark] Webber and Fernando was three and a half behind me, so the tow was completely what we predicted in terms of seconds.
“You don’t need to be very close to the car. If you are very close, your lap time will be slower so you need to be between three and four seconds behind another car.”
Massa outqualified Alonso, taking fourth ahead of his Ferrari teammate. Ironically the Brazilian reckoned getting a tow from Webber’s Red Bull was critical to his lap.
“It was very difficult for me because giving the tow to somebody and not having a tow, for sure you lose a tenth and a half or something like that,” said Massa. “I managed to have a tow only one time in Q3, but on the most important lap the last one.
“I had Webber in front by four seconds, which was enough to pick up a little bit of a tow. It was very important for me to pick up enough of a tow from another car as Fernando was always behind me.”