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Formula One

Team order was a mistake: Massa

Williams driver confirms team has apologised for asking him to move over for teammate in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Last updated: 03 Apr 2014 14:10
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Felipe Massa finished seventh in Malaysia, one place ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas [GALLO/GETTY]

Felipe Massa says his team Williams made a mistake by ordering him to move aside for teammate at last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix and says the team has told him it will not happen again.

It was not correct and not the right moment for this to happen

Felipe Massa, Williams' driver

Massa refused repeated instructions to move aside for the trailing Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages of the race in Malaysia, prompting a post-race team meeting which Massa says vindicated his stance.

"I believe what has happened in the last race will not happen again,'' Massa said on Thursday, ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix. "It was not correct and not the right moment for this to happen."

Massa's perceived insubordination, in just his second race for the team after moving across from Ferrari, had the potential to cause a fissure between him and team officials or Bottas, but the Brazilian felt everything can be smoothed over.

"I don't think it's damaged my relationships," Massa said, adding that the team was 'the first one to say sorry'.

Elsewhere, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali admitted Mercedes are much better with the fuel-efficient six-cylinder engines after his drivers finished behind Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in Malaysia.

"We know that other engine manufacturers have advanced knowledge because they use that technology in their road cars, so we knew it was not going to be easy," said Domenicali. 

"If Mercedes keeps the pace, it will be very difficult to match them.''

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Source:
AP
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