Felipe Massa says he is upbeat about Ferrari's progress in the Turkish Grand Prix despite a disappointing race for him.
The Brazilian finished the Istanbul race in 11th position following several problems during his pit stops, but he believes he was set for a fourth-place finish. Despite the poor result, Massa was happy about the step forward taken by Ferrari both in qualifying and race trim.
"Given my previous track record in Istanbul, this was obviously a very disappointing result," Massa, a three-time winner in Turkey, said. "I ended up 11th, when I could have been challenging for fourth place and that was mainly down to poor pit stops.
"However, looking on the positive side, the aero updates we ran for the first time at this race definitely increased our performance level as can be seen from the fact that Fernando secured Ferrari's first podium finish of the year."
He added: "Even if we had a difficult qualifying and I did not even bother making a second attempt in Q3 to save tires, the gap in terms of our qualifying to race performance did come down in Turkey, because we struggled less in qualifying and then made an even bigger step forward on Sunday, which is more proof that the car is improving."
Massa said Ferrari will need to analyze the problems suffered during his pit stops, after losing time in three of his four stops.
"I would say I had a few too many [problems], because without them I was definitely heading for a top-five finish. This was frustrating for me and for the team. We do a lot of pit stop practice, but that Sunday it just did not work properly.
"We will have to study the problem and try and be more consistent, because in a single stop, just a small delay in changing wheels and you can lose position, as happened to me in Istanbul."