Felipe Massa rues 'strange' Monaco GP practice crash after missing out on qualifying
Brazilian left hoping for safety car periods from last place on the grid
By James Galloway in Monaco. Last Updated: 26/05/13 7:54am
A downcast Felipe Massa described the heavy crash in final practice which has left him at the back of the grid for the Monaco GP as "strange" but is vowing to remain positive in a bid to salvage something from the weekend.
The Brazilian will start from the back row of the Monte Carlo grid for the second time in his eight-year Ferrari career after the team were unable to repair his F138 in time for the first knockout phase of qualifying following a hefty accident in the earlier Practice Three session.
Massa had only completed eight laps when he crashed in spectacular fashion under braking for Ste Devote, first understeering into the outside barrier and then hitting the tyre wall at the corner head-on - impacts which wrecked his car's front suspension.
Although Ferrari later confirmed that the accident had been down to driver error, Massa said the nature of the incident - and the fact he locked up both front brakes - had nonetheless been unusual.
"When I braked I touched the bump and maybe the car touched the floor and locked both front wheels, which is not an easy thing to happen," he told reporters.
"Normally you lock one - locking both is a very difficult thing to happen. But it happened and it made me go to the wall.
"So I hit the guardrail on the left and then it was just waiting for the wall to arrive, which is not a nice thing to see and is not a nice feeling, but actually nothing happened [to him].
"The car was completely damaged. When I got out of the car and looked and there was no suspension, around the car was pretty damaged and I knew it was going to be very difficult to fix the car.
"We tried everything we could. You saw even [Romain] Grosjean had a crash much later than mine and he just managed to go out at the end of Q1 so you see that it was not easy for us to fix the car."
Massa, who said he felt fine aside from some minor pain in his back, added that the data showed he had actually braked earlier for the first corner than his best lap from Thursday.
"I was looking at the data and honestly when I braked it was even a little bit earlier than the Thursday, on the best lap I did on the soft tyres, and I locked very easy the front tyres," he added. "So it's a bit strange but it happens."
The 32-year-old has past experience of trying to come through on Monaco's tight streets after starting from the back row in 2006 following a crash in Q1.
On that occasion he clawed his way up to ninth place over the course of the 78-lap race and he is hoping some classic Monaco unpredictability can come to his rescue this time.
"For sure it's the worst track to have this problem but we need to be positive and try everything we can for tomorrow," Massa acknowledged.
"Here is a track which is very difficult to overtake [on] - we know - but it's also a track where many things happen. During the race, maybe we have a safety car, maybe not, we don't know. We need to be prepared, be positive and need to try if things change."