Felipe Massa believes his Brazilian Grand Prix weekend was severely compromised by a qualifying puncture that robbed him of a set of soft Pirelli tires for the race.
After qualifying seventh for his home race, Massa's Ferrari crew discovered the puncture on Saturday night, meaning that he would not have enough sets of soft rubber to make a three-stop strategy work in the optimum way. As a result, Ferrari switched him to a two-stop strategy, which the Brazilian acknowledged was not the quickest way to complete the race.
"I had a puncture on one of my soft tires sets; we only saw it last night, and because of that I could not do three stops," he said. "The only way to do three stops was to use three sets of mediums, which was not the case, and so I was struggling a lot because of that.
"Putting the medium [on] to do so many laps was really difficult for us, looking at Fernando that with the medium, we were struggling a lot so I think that was one of the problems I had today. We know we have a bigger performance gap than on the softs when compared to our closest competitors."
Massa ran inside the top six all race and finished fifth, equaling his best result of the season. However, with no podium finishes to show for his campaign – making him the first full-time Ferrari driver since Ivan Capelli in 1992 to fail to make the top three in a single race in a season, he wants to banish the memories of the year.
"As for the championship, I just [want to] cancel 2011 and I hope everything that happened this year will not be repeated in the future," he added.