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GP Week : Issue 161
Felipe Massa produced his best performance of the season so far to race strongly to a fourth place finish on Sunday, taking the flag just six seconds behind team-mate Alonso. The Brazilian opted for the popular Soft- Hard-Hard tyre strategy and successfully held off a late-race challenge from Kimi Raikkonen to score 12 valuable world championship points. “ItwasagoodraceandIamgladto have finally brought home a good result for me and for the team,” said Massa. “Race after race, the situation has been improving and now we are capable of fighting for the podium.” He spent the entire race in close company with Sebastian Vettel. After getting past the German at the start he was leapfrogged by him during the first round of stops and was unable to regain the position. “I got a good start and then there was long and close duel with Michael [Schumacher] and I lost some time behind him: Vettel benefited from that, managing to get past me in the run of pit stops,” he continued. “Then, my pace was very similar to the Red Bull, so I could not get close enough to think about attacking.” Massa’s points helps Ferrari jump to second place in the constructors’ championship, leapfrogging both Lotus and McLaren. They lie on 152 points, 64 behind leaders Red Bull and just ten clear of fourth place McLaren. Lotus’s Romain Grosjean produced one of the drivers of the day by fighting his way back from last place to cross the flag in sixth place, less than seven seconds behind team- mate Kimi Raikkonen. The Frenchman had qualified inside the top ten but came into contact with Force India’s Paul di Resta at the first corner of the race. He then had to pit for a new front wing, dropping him to the very back of the field, but having started on the soft tyre, he was able to spend the rest of the race on the quicker hard compound. Many laps in clear air allowed him to extract maximum potential from the E20 while rising steadily through the field as those ahead of him pitted. He then overtook Hamilton early in his final stint, before pulling well clear to take a comfortable sixth place. “I’m happy with my race today. Unfortunately I had an incident on the first corner at the start of the race where I was on outside of Lewis [Hamilton] and had a Force India that hit me and broke my front wing,” Grosjean recalled. “The team did a fantastic job in giving me a great race strategy and we believed in ourselves to go for long stints with both sets of hard tyres. I was still battling hard with the cars around me, but trying to save the tyres at the same time. It became harder towards the end of the race but I hung on to my sixth place.” Grosjean’s points, coupled with Raikkonen’s fifth place has promoted Lotus ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ championship, although they remain third with Ferrari having leapfrogged to second. MASSA’S RETURN TO FORM CONTINUES GROSJEAN ROCKETS FROM LAST TO SIXTH 31 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> SILVERSTONE