Felipe Massa: Lewis Hamilton Was Just Too Quick in China

Adam PooleAnalyst IOctober 19, 2008

We don't need Felipe Massa to tell us that Lewis Hamilton was too quick for the Ferraris today, but he did anyway. The No. 2 driver in the championship struggled to even get into second today, without a little help from Raikkonen.

Lewis had been quick all weekend in China, and the race win on Sunday just confirmed it with a comfortable 14-second lead over Felipe Massa.

Speaking after the race, the Brazilian admitted that Hamilton had been the quicker driver all weekend and that he was ultimately happy with second.

“On the start, I didn’t have a good start, I had a little bit of wheel-spin, even though it wasn’t very high grip on our side,” he said.

“Then we just stayed in the same positions.

“We saw that Lewis was a bit stronger in the beginning of the race—he was stronger during the whole race—but in the beginning he started pulling away maybe two, three tenths sometimes per lap and then this made his race much more comfortable.

“For us we were completely driving really on the limit to reduce the gap, but it just was not possible. [I was] Trying to push as Kimi was too trying to push to get closer to Lewis, but today it was just not possible.

“Unfortunately Lewis had the better car for the whole weekend.”

On the grid, Ferrari surprised us by revealing soft-compound tyres instead of the favoured harder option of the Bridgestone's.

“We took the decision to start on the soft tyres and, we knew already that most people would start on the hard, as our cars works in a little bit of a different way compare to the other cars, especially compared to the McLarens," he said.

“For us the hard had no grip and difficult to drive and the soft was the only option for the first and second stint.

“So we decided to start on the soft and I think it was the right decision for us.”

On lap 41, Massa started gaining on second-place man Kimi Raikkonen as the Fin started backing off his usual race pace to allow Felipe to pick up the extra points in the driver's championship.

“It [closing stages] was the best time for me on the race, I was quite strong, and I caught him [Raikkonen] and I passed him so that was a good part of the race.

“Anyway, it was not enough because we are fighting with the McLarens.

“At least today, one was in front and we could manage to finish second and third.

“For the drivers’ championship, it was not fantastic, but for the construction, I think it was very good and it is always very important to fight for the constructors’ championship.

“I tried for the drivers’ championship, but it was just not possible today.”

The driver's championship will now be decided in two weeks time at Interlagos in Brazil, Massa's home race, however, Hamilton will be going in as favourite as he only has to finish fifth or above to seal the title.