Felipe Massa’s experience shone through during Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix as he fended off Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the dying stages of the race to score his first podium finish of the season.
Massa had been running in fourth place before the solitary round of pit stops, but moved up into third after a problem in Ferrari’s pit box left Vettel stationary for 13 seconds.
Vettel emerged from the pit lane five seconds behind Massa, and closed to within one second of the Williams driver in the final few laps of the race.
However, Massa managed to hold the position despite being in the slower car, crossing the line with an advantage of 0.6 seconds to secure third place.
“I think it was a fantastic race today,” Massa said. “We managed to get Sebastian with his problem that he had in a pit stop, which I didn’t see. I managed to pass him there.
“Then I understood that maybe at the end of the race he would have be behind me, one or two tenths quicker every lap.
“At the end he got there, and I just managed to keep the line and not make any mistakes, just use a bit of experience.
“So happy, it was an amazing race and a fantastic result for the team. So happy.”
With Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas crossing the line in fifth place, Williams managed to make up some ground to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, but still sits some 63 points behind the Italian team ahead of the British Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.