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Felipe Massa pleased to fight back from penalty

May 12, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT

Spain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

Felipe Massa is delighted to have finished on the podium after starting 9th on the grid following a penalty during qualifying yesterday.

The Brazilian driver was adjudged to have held up Red Bull’s Mark Webber during Q2, and he was subsequently demoted three places on the grid after qualifying P6. However, he was pleased to have put this setback behind him for the race.

“For sure, it was a little bit disappointing after qualifying yesterday to have lost three places, but anyway the race was very good for us,” Massa said on the podium after the race. “The car was fantastic, very aggressive straight away. I gained back the positions, I think after the first lap I was already sixth.”

Massa did make a fantastic start, passing Grosjean, Webber and Perez all on the first lap before catching Kimi Raikkonen before the first round of stops. After pitting, Massa was 4th, and he soon rose to 2nd ahead of the faltering Nico Rosberg and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

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However, he struggled to push in the final stint on his tires, and eventually lost out to Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finn making a three-stop strategy work well.

“The car was struggling a bit on the tires, making it survive every stint in a good way but I think the race was very good for us.”

The result marks Massa’s first podium of the season, and he will be pleased to have returned to form at the start of the European season. The Brazilian driver currently lies 5th in the championship, just five points behind Lewis Hamilton.

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