ABU DHABI, Nov 03, 2013 (F1plus/AFP) - Felipe Massa claimed Ferrari's tactical error cost him a top five finish in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Brazilian, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the year, said he was amazed when the Italian team switched him to a new set of medium compound tyres for the final 17 laps, instead of fitting soft tyres.
"We made a mistake," he said. "I didn't expect to use the medium in the last stint.
"I didn't discuss it (with the team beforehand) because for me it was clear. We were going to go on the softs. It's better, at the beginning I was the best car on the soft tyre.
"I expected to see the soft tyres on the car and I saw the other. Without this problem I would have finished easy in the top five."
He finished eighth after being passed in that final stint by three drivers including his team-mate Fernando Alonso who escaped penalty for earlier
running off the circuit to pass Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso.
Massa could not hide his dissapointment.
"It is frustrating, I'm not happy because today I did a great race, fighting all the time and overtaking cars," he said.
"It was a very good race and I didn't finish in the position I was supposed to finish in. It is a bit frustrating, but I think I showed a good race and good pace."
Also and in order to avoid any media-speculation he cleared Ferrari of any calculated wrongdoing to aid Alonso's race.
"The team needs points and the team would never do that to me. It is not really even close to my mind that the team would do something like that.
"I believe in the team and I will believe in them until the last moment, but today the first thing I said was that it was mistake because we could have scored more points today." Massa said afterwards.
The brazilian looked in good form and has been rasiing his game as of lately. Motivation to stay in Formula 1 is probably playing a big role.