Felipe Massa brushed off Sebastian Vettel’s blocking complaint at the end of Sunday’s Formula 1 race in Russia, saying the Ferrari driver stood no chance of catching race winner Valtteri Bottas at the front of the pack.
Vettel closed up on Bottas in the final few laps of the race, getting a boost from DRS on the penultimate tour of the Sochi Autodrom as he ran less than a second behind.
Massa – Bottas’ former teammate at Williams – inadvertently gave the Finn a boost by also offering him DRS despite being a lap down, letting the Finn past into Turn 2.
Vettel was next up to try and lap Massa, expecting the Brazilian to lift through Turn 3, only for him to keep his foot in and make it difficult to overtake.
Vettel immediately complained over the radio to his Ferrari team, but it was to no avail as Bottas crossed the line 0.6 seconds clear to record his first grand prix victory. Massa finished the race ninth for Williams.
When asked about Vettel’s complaint after the race, Massa dismissed it, believing the German would not have caught Bottas anyway.
“To be honest, so many races he was not happy,” Massa told NBCSN.
“I left the right side for him. I slowed before corner four and he didn’t want to go.
“He wasn’t going to pass Valtteri in the last lap anyway, for sure.”
Massa was quick to congratulate Bottas after the race, the pair having spent three years together as teammates at Williams ahead of the latter’s move up to Mercedes for 2017.
“To be honest he deserves the win. He was a driver that showed he is at this level in the right way,” Massa said.
“People didn’t see the level he was [at Williams], but I said straight away he’d do a good job for Mercedes. He is.
“This is his track, and I’m so happy for him. He’ll get more than just the one he did today.”