Felipe Massa’s frustrating 2010 season took another turn for the worse in Brazil when he had a problem with the right front wheel at his pit stop.
The wheelnut was cross-threaded, and he had to tour round to the pits and make a second stop. It was perhaps Ferrari’s good fortune that the problem happened to Felipe, and not on Alonso’s car…
Later while trying to recover he had a tangle with Sebastien Buemi before eventually finishing 15th. His luck has been so bad that it was the fifth time that he failed to score points in 2010, and only one of those was an actual retirement – his first lap crash in Japan.
“Everything happened in the race,” said Massa. “It started in the first pit stop. I changed tyres and the front right was not tight on the car, so I couldn’t turn the car to the left, so I had to come in again. My race was completely destroyed, because stopping twice in a row was a disaster for this track.
“And then after the safety car I had another possibility, but when I was passing already in front of Buemi he touched my wheel, and then he pushed me out of the track. That was really a shame. But anyway, in the race everything happened. The worst thing was the pit stop.”
“It was unfortunate because the strategy he chose was correct,” said Stefano Domenicali. “In fact without the problem he was in front of Jenson at the exit of the pitlane, and the race would have been totally different. He would have been fifth.
“Unfortunately there was a problem on the side, with the wheelnut cross-threaded. He was very lucky not to lose the tyre, so it was fortunate that he came back. After that the race was spoiled for him. For sure the season was not easy, but we can totally count on him for the next one.”
Meanwhile Massa says he’s ready to support Alonso in Abu Dhabi: “The championship is still very much alive. For sure we need to concentrate on the next race. It’s a track I don’t know, it’s the first time I’m going to race there. But anyway I’m just going to try to do my best.”