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Massa: Tyre Choice Cost me Podium

Felipe Massa believes he threw away the chance of an heroic podium finish in the Belgian Grand Prix after opting to switch to dry tyres at his final pitstop

The Brazilian had been running in fourth place, ahead of eventual third placed finisher Jenson Button, when he thought the track was dry enough to go onto grooved tyres.

But it proved a wrong decision as Massa lost stacks of time and slipped down the order to take a disappointed 10th place finish.

"What can I say?" he explained after the race. "We could have been on the podium if I had stayed on intermediates, because I was way ahead of Button,

"My engineer Mike Krack asked me should we stay on them before my second stop, but the track was a bit like it was on Friday when the grooved tyres had worked okay in damp conditions, so I figured it was worth the risk and said let's change to dries.

"If it had worked we would have been heroes. As it was, the car just became undriveable."

Massa's disappointment at the wrong tyre choice was in contrast to teammate Jacques Villeneuve's delight at the afternoon. He took a gamble of staying out during the Safety Car period and eventually finished sixth.

"This result makes it all worthwhile going into qualifying with a heavy fuel load," he said. "The decision to stay out when the safety car was deployed was exactly the right thing to do.

"As the race progressed things got better as the fuel load decreased, but I had plenty of adventures along the way. I was completely sideways in Eau Rouge on one lap and I really thought that was it. But I saved it, and then had some wheel-banging with Karthikeyan up at Les Combes, so it wasn't a dull race for me.

"As the track started to dry it got difficult on intermediates, but the reason Ralf caught me so much on the final lap was because I had to lap a Minardi in a tricky place and lost time. Overall this was a great result that brought me a lot of satisfaction, especially on this challenging track."

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