Felipe Massa said a strategic error caused him to be knocked out in Q1 and start 16th

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    Felipe Massa said a strategic error caused him to be knocked out in Q1 and start 16th

    Post by Ross on 4th April 2009, 14:15

    Massa: Strategy let me down

    Felipe Massa blamed a strategic error for his failure to make into the second qualifying segment ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    The Ferrari driver missed the cut in Q1 after not completing another run in the dying moments of the session.

    Massa said after qualifying that Ferrari felt his previous best was enough to secure a place in the top 15, and hence decided not to send him out again, something which proved to be a mistake.

    "Well, actually I went straight away on a new set of softs. I didn't do a perfect lap, I did a reasonable lap, but not a perfect lap," explained Massa.

    "I went wide on the first lap in Turn 14 and then I improved on the second timed lap by two tenths. The team thought it was enough to be inside the top 15 and maybe I thought as well, to be honest, because when I got back to the pits I was fourth.

    "I stayed in the top seven for a while, but then when I started to drop it was impossible to go out again because there was no time to do another lap.

    "Maybe the track improved a lot as well, with the temperature going down many people improved. We just thought it was enough to get in the top 15 and it wasn't so we dropped completely.

    "Maybe the past is still very fresh in our mind where we had a very competitive car and it was always easy to go out in first qualifying on the hard tyre or whatever and be in the top 10.

    "Now it's not that easy anymore. Now we need to be able to use our tyres in qualifying because that's the only way to pass every session."

    Massa refused to blame anyone for the error, and said it was a mistake from the whole team.

    "As I said, maybe the past is very fresh in our mind so everybody including myself because I didn't believe that I was going to drop out of the top 15. After the qualifying I thought maybe I could go to 11th or 12th, but not to 16th. I blame everybody.

    "I blame me, I blame the engineers, I blame everybody that was working on the pit looking at the laptimes. It was a team mistake, including myself. But it was a huge wake up call that we need to use everything we have because every session is difficult."

    Source: autosport.com

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