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Irate Massa writes off Ferrari's season

ANOTHER disappointing race has all but ended Ferrari's bid for the Formula One championship, Felipe Massa said on Sunday after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Massa overtook Sebastian Vettel at the start to lie third, and then held off the Red Bull driver for 62 laps before having to slow down to conserve fuel with only four laps left.

Massa finished sixth to pick up three points, his first of the season, and now trails Spanish GP winner and overall leader Jenson Button by 38 points.

"I don't think this year," Massa replied when asked if Ferrari could fight for the championship over the final 12 GPs. "Maybe next year, we have so many problems to solve. After five races, Brawn's won four ¨? how can you fight? Even if you improve the car massively, they're still going to score points."

Team principal Stefano Domenicali wasn't ready to concede the season was over just yet.

"Basically there is a lot of pain. That is the feeling that we have now," he said. "At this stage, we need to make sure that the people who have responsibility in all of the areas do the maximum job that they can do. I need people to react."

It's been 16 years since Ferrari failed to get on the podium after the opening five races.

"I feel a bit frustrated for sure. After great qualifying, a great race, we lost a great opportunity to score big points," said Massa, although he noted the improvement in his car at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"We had a very good pace and we definitely have a different car. It's a big step forward and it's very encouraging," said Massa, who lost the title by one point last year. "In reality I don't like to talk about bad luck because when you deserve something you achieve it."

Massa's teammate Kimi Raikkonen retired after 17 laps with an apparent hydraulics problem.

Domenicali couldn't say whether it was human or mechanical error that caused Ferrari's problems in Spain, but tactical errors in qualifying left Massa starting 16th in Malaysia and Raikkonen in the same spot in Barcelona.


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