Felipe Massa said he was thrilled to mark his return to Formula 1 with a second-place finish, even though he lost out to his ultimately victorious Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso at the start.
The Brazilian had outqualified his new stablemate yesterday as they took second and third on the grid, but Alonso slipped ahead on the opening lap. He was then ideally placed to grab the lead when Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull faltered. But although he missed out on the win, Massa was still delighted to be second after the long lay-off enforced by the head injuries he sustained at the Hungaroring last year.
"First of all I think it is fantastic to be here, so thanks a lot that everything is great," Massa said. "Being here with a competitive car and going through the whole race with good pace, so thanks to God I am fine and thanks to everybody who was supporting me in a difficult time.
"The race was really good and fantastic for us. For sure I didn't have a good start, I lost an important position to Fernando at the first corner. After that the race was perfect for me on the soft and with the hard."
Massa fell away from Alonso in the closing laps, eventually finishing 16 seconds adrift, but said he had been trying to conserve fuel.
"I caught Fernando in a good way, then I started to have a problem in terms of temperature in the car and it made a lot of fuel consumption so I started to save fuel in the last 25-30 laps," he explained. "There was nothing to do any more. We were lucky with the problems for Vettel to get past him and get some points – and lucky that [Lewis] Hamilton was not so fast at the end."
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