Felipe Massa says he took a step forward in the Chinese Grand Prix despite finishing outside the points. The Ferrari driver struggled to match the performance of teammate Fernando Alonso in the first two races of the season, and he finished in 13th position at Shanghai on Sunday.
Alonso was only ninth, however, and the Brazilian crossed the finish line some five seconds behind the Spaniard.
"I tried to do my best in a very close-fought race," said Massa, who is yet to score a point this season. "Sure, 13th place is not something I can be happy about, but I think that as far as my race was concerned, this was a step forward compared to the first two races of the season. At least I managed to run a normal race and I know I did everything that I could."
Massa said his two-stop strategy had worked well, but like Alonso the Brazilian was hindered by traffic.
"The decision to make two stops was the right one given my position, but maybe, in the light of how the race went, it would have been better to stop at different times: however, that's easy to say now, after the checkered flag," he added. "Each and every time I found myself in traffic and paid for the lack of top speed, one of the major problems with our car at the moment."
Massa also reckons next weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix will be a big challenge for Ferrari, with the circuit not suiting the Italian car's characteristics.
"The Sakhir circuit, for the next round of the championship, does not look like being very favorable for us, given how things have gone so far. For me, it is a race where I have always done well, but I'm not under any illusions. As always, we will try and give it our best shot."