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GP Week : Issue 184
eighth place may not be what Ferrari were looking for from Felipe Massa after a troublesome run in Monaco, but the points finish was a welcome relief given Massa was forced to start from 16th position after crashing into the barriers during qualifying. It was Massa third accident in just two races – all of which ended in a side-on impact; leading to some concerns over the Brazilian’s fitness going into Sunday’s race. “P hysically it's fine,” Massa said. “T his crash was nothing compared to Monaco, it was much slower. The crash I had here is more psychologically you know, rather than physically. So I need to forget about that and start a different thing. I think the pace was OK today, when it was wet it was not easy for us; when there was a dry lineitwasOKforustodoagoodlapsowe'llsee how the conditions are going to be tomorrow.” Massa’s Montreal incident was driver-related, a consequence of dropping his left rear tyre on the wet and slippery exterior white painted line under braking. But it was Massa’s response during the race which should set up a platform for the rest of the year. After a strong start Massa had vaulted up to eighth by Lap 18, but was forced to pit relatively early in order to maintain lap times. He exited in 13th and lost no time in disposing of Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber. For the remainder of the race Massa was engaged in an epic battle with Adrian Sutil, eventually getting the better of the Force India driver who eventually opted for three stops after coming into contact with Williams’ Pastor Maldonado. For a while it looked like this was as far as Massa would get, but a pit lane fumble from Lotus – a rear jack slipping – brought Kimi Raikkonen within striking distance. The lean-running Raikkonen was suffering a fuel conservation issue and became easy prey for Massa, who dispatched of the Finn under braking into Turn One. In terms of damage control it was a great result for Ferrari, but a great psychological victory for Massa, especially given his dominance over Raikkonen over the first half of 2009. Such small victories give way to bigger results down the track. Felipe flips his fortunes 33 GPWEEK.com // 33 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> CANADA