Felipe Massa has claimed an emotional podium finish at his home grand prix in Brazil today, finishing third after a difficult race that saw him suffer a number of setbacks.
Starting third, Massa made a good start to hold onto his position ahead of Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas, and managed to extend the gap by making an early first pit stop.
However, when entering the pits, he broke the pit lane speed limit, prompting the stewards to impose a five second stop/go penalty on the Brazilian, much to the distaste of the home fans.
When Massa did serve this, a slow stop by the team meant that he lost even more time, with McLaren’s Jenson Button now his nearest rival in the battle for the final podium position after Bottas dropped back through the field.
Making his third and final stop, Massa accidentally pulled into Button’s pit box at McLaren, costing him precious seconds and raising more than a smile from the watching Williams team.
However, come the checkered flag, he had done enough to beat Button to the line by seven seconds and secure his second podium finish of the 2014 season.
“I’m so happy for the race,” Massa said on the podium as the Brazilian fans cheered his name. “So many mistakes also in my race! I had the five second penalty stop/go for speeding the limiter, and also I stopped at McLaren because it was a similar color and it just was prepared before my garage!
“The car was fantastic, and so great with the pace. I’m so happy.”
As the only Brazilian driver in the field, Massa’s result brought delight to the thousands of fans that had descended on Interlagos for the race, and tightens Williams’ stranglehold on third place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari.