Felipe Massa says he is enjoying the pressure of competing for his Formula 1 future after Ferrari opted not to retain him past 2013.
The Brazilian outqualified teammate Fernando Alonso in Singapore and, after losing ground at the start, fought back to claim sixth ahead of a train of tire-troubled cars. He said he was enjoying the new freedom derived from his impending departure from the Scuderia, and the fact that Sebastian Vettel’s current dominance means there is little he can do to aid Alonso’s title bid.
Asked whether he felt he was performing better under his new circumstances, Massa said: “Yes, sure; I am enjoying it a lot. Like I said, there is not so much I can do: the only help Fernando can have is coming from Sebastian, it’s not coming from me. This is the situation.
“Vettel had the pace of minimum 1s quicker than everybody. He was going to win the race whatever. Most of the teams are not working on the car from here to the end of the year, so I’m sure it will stay like that; I’m sure [he] will have a competitive car from here to the end of the year.”
Asked if he felt his sixth place was a good demonstration of his abilities, Massa said: “Yes. For sure the race could have been better, but it could have been worse looking at everything that happened. I did a fantastic start but then in the first corner I was blocked on the inside and I couldn’t overtake anybody, I even lost positions. That was one of the issues, because after that I was always behind somebody on the track.
“At the end many cars were struggling on tires, so we were able to get back to sixth. I would say looking at everything that happened, that was not so bad.”