Felipe Massa believes Ferrari cost him a better result in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by making the wrong call on tire strategy for his final stint.
Massa was running fifth, ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso, when he stopped for the second time and took on medium tires with 17 laps remaining. He failed to make any progress on the slower tire and eventually finished eighth, with Alonso (who waited a further six laps before pitting and changing to the soft tire) Paul di Resta and Lewis Hamilton all jumping the Brazilian.
Massa, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season, is adamant he would have been able to replicate his 17-lap opening stint on the softer tire and admits he was surprised his team went the other way.
“We made a mistake,” he said. “I didn’t expect to use the medium in the last stint.
“I didn’t discuss it [with the team beforehand] because for me it was clear. We were going to go on the softs. It’s better, at the beginning I was the best car on the soft tire.
“I expected to see the soft tires on the car and I saw the other. Without this problem I would have finished easy in the top five.”
Despite the error, Massa reckons Ferrari got it right in opting for a two-stop strategy and believes it would have gained him the best result possible had they not chosen to end the race on the medium tire.
“I think it was going to be very, very difficult to one-stop, because the pace we had was too quick for the rear tires,” he added. “It’s pretty acceptable we would have been able to go to the end [on the soft tire] and I said that [going onto the medium] was a mistake. We could have scored more points today.”