Fernando Alonso was ready to move aside in the Brazilian Grand Prix to hand teammate Felipe Massa a podium finish in his final race with Ferrari.
Massa had moved up from ninth on the grid to fourth before being given a controversial drive-through penalty for crossing the pitlane entry lines while on flying laps. Alonso finished third, and confirmed that he had wanted to help Massa in their last race as teammates after four seasons together.
“It was the last race for Felipe at Ferrari and we wanted to help in whatever way to try to celebrate a podium finish with Felipe, but he got a drive-through, unfortunately,” said Alonso. “I’m sad for him for this race but happy for the last four years. He has been an amazing teammate.”
Massa eventually took seventh following the penalty, and was certain he had been on for a podium.
“For sure Fernando would’ve let me by at the end, so I’m sure the situation would’ve been completely different,” he said. “But in the end, I don’t want to think about that, I want to think about the nice time I’ve had with Ferrari, and the friends I met and all the opportunities I had as well.”
Asked to explain exactly what he and Alonso had agreed, Massa replied: “We didn’t have any agreement, to be honest, but he came to say, ‘Whenever you are behind me, I will let you by.'”