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OCTOBER 27, 2013

Massa went against advised Ferrari strategy

Felipe Massa has revealed he passed over Ferrari's advice in devising his race strategy for the Indian grand prix.

The Brazilian, who is leaving the Italian team after an eight-year career in red, said his engineers wanted him to qualify on the longer-lasting, harder tyres.

"I made a different decision to them," Massa is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.

"At the Nurburgring I did what the engineers said and it didn't work, so I took a different decision this time."

The strategy, with Massa on the fast-wearing soft tyres, is the same as pole sitter Sebastian Vettel's, who would like to wrap up his title on Sunday with a win.

But Mark Webber, in the sister Red Bull, thinks qualifying on the harder tyres was actually a wiser choice.

"We're in a good position to capitalise," said the Australian.

Vettel commented: "What turns out to be the right strategy, we'll find out in the race."

In the same car as Massa, Ferrari's Alonso is three places behind the Brazilian on the grid. But the Spaniard said he was unwilling to qualify on the soft tyre.

"I don't want to be always critical of the tyres," he is quoted by Italy's Autosprint, "but these (soft) tyres are not good.

"It's a fact. It's random. Yesterday on a set of softs I did 16 laps with good times.

"Today I could only do three until they disintegrated," he was quoted after qualifying by Spain's Marca.

"So the race will depend on the tyres, because no two sets are alike."

Alonso admitted that, if a "normal" race takes place on Sunday, Vettel will easily be crowned world champion.

A great debate is raging at the moment about whether the German, to probably be a quadruple world champion before the Indian sun sets, can now lay claim to F1 'greatness'.

"No, I don't think he's on another level (to other good F1 drivers)," said Lotus' Romain Grosjean.

"I think he's doing a very good job and has a very good car, and the combination of the two is very competitive.

"They (Red Bull) have a very good team, a very good driver and a great car," he is quoted by Marca.