Massa claims to be ’as fast’ as Alonso
"Of course, Fernando is a very strong racing driver"
Felipe Massa insists he was "as fast, if not faster" than Fernando Alonso in qualifying trim this year.
Ultimately, the Brazilian scored less than half the points of his high-profile teammate, and finally lost his Ferrari race seat.
Massa will drive for Williams in 2014.
"I know they are going through a tough phase," he is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper, "but I think that with the changes they’re making, they can go back to what they were doing a few years ago.
"I want to be a part of that process (at Williams)," said the 32-year-old.
"The Mercedes engine should be very competitive, so I think we will have a good package at our disposal to fight for points on a regular basis and move steadily closer to the top."
But Ferrari justified Massa’s exit on the basis that he was not able to support Alonso’s quest for the world championship on a consistent enough basis.
Massa, however, thinks he stacked up well against the Spaniard in 2013.
"Of course, Fernando is a very strong racing driver," he admitted, "especially in the first few rounds of the championship.
"Qualifying has not been as important to the championship as it has been, but I was at least as fast, if not faster, than Alonso," Massa claimed.
"But with the other factors - the strategy, traffic, pitstops and all of those things - I really was not very lucky.
"And when Fernando is going for the championship, and I am not, then he had the advantage for strategy and it affects your ability to drive for the top positions," he added.
Interestingly, Massa named having to give up the win at Hockenheim in 2010 as the lowest point in his eight-year Ferrari tenure.
"I got a team order and had to obey it," he said. "It was very bad from both a professional and a personal point of view.
"Of course, my accident in Hungary in 2009 was a very negative event, because I could have died.
"But I don’t remember when I hit the part from Rubens Barrichello’s car. I know what happened and of course I remember taking a long time to recover, but I don’t remember the accident.
"So, it doesn’t hurt me as much as the memory of what happened in Hockenheim."