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Felipe Massa's retirement at the German GP was due to driver error

RachF1
SENIOR ANALYST
News
899   //    08 Jul 2013, 13:22 IST
AUTO-PRIX-F1-GER

Ferrari’s Brazilian driver Felipe Massa slides off the track at the Nurburgring race track

Contrary to speculations that were high in the social media networks, it has now been revealed that Felipe Massa’s spin at Turn 1 at the German Grand Prix was down to the driver erro than a broken gearbox issue as speculated.

Massa has always been consistent at the Nürburgring, and had a 100% finish record at this circuit until this year. In the past, Massa has finished three times on the podium at this very circuit.

Understandably, he was disappointed with the finish, and has insisted that his focus has already shifted to the next race.

Massa said: “I am very disappointed with what happened, especially after the rest of the weekend had gone well.

“At the start of lap four, when I was on the straight, at the moment when I braked, the rear wheels locked up and I couldn’t stop the car from spinning. When the car came to a stop, it was stuck in fifth gear and I couldn’t stop the engine from stalling.

“It’s very odd that it got stuck like that, even if so far, the team has not seen anything unusual. The mediums did not have the pace we expected after Friday’s free practice, but maybe other factors, such as the higher temperatures, came into play and made the difference. Now I want to focus on the next race when I plan to do my utmost to turn things around.”

Speaking about the incident, Pat Fry, Chassis Director at Ferrari, has confirmed that the incident was down to the driver error, which could have been caused due to the lack of grip.

Pat Fry said: “I am sorry for Felipe, who had made another great start, but unfortunately he locked up the rear wheels under braking and spun, possibly because of the lack of grip.” 

Massa’s teammate Alonso finished just shy of the podium in fourth, but both the team, and Alonso himself has stated that the result was beyond their expectations.

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Stefano Domenicali said: “Given the current state of play, I think today’s result is the most we could have achieved and I don’t think the strategy had much of an influence on the outcome of the race.

“Wanting to see the glass as half full, the points we have picked up at this point in the season are very important. The variable temperatures we saw today produced different performance levels.

“This turnaround confirms yet again how difficult it is for everyone to interpret as well as possible the true competitiveness of the car-tyre package at every track. Looking ahead, now it is vital that we optimise the performance of our car, just as our rivals have managed to do, because we want to get back to fighting for the top places as soon as possible.

“In Hungary we will have different tyres and it will be important to understand their behaviour right from the test at Silverstone, in two weeks time. At the same time, we will try to change pace on our development work, an area where we need to push hard.”

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