|© AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Felipe Massa had a disastrous Saturday in Monaco after his day got compounded after a crash in the third and final practice session.
The Brazilian made a mistake during one of his runs in practice, when he ended up in the barriers at Ste Devote. The Ferrari was heavily damaged after the impact at Turn 1, which ended his session with some 20 minutes remaining.
"I feel a few pains in the muscles in my back, but I'm OK and it's nothing that a massage won't sort out," Massa was quoted saying by Autosport.
Not only was valuable track time lost due to the incident but it also gave Ferrari very little time to repair the car to allow Massa to take part in qualifying. During the break between the two sessions, it was established that a new gearbox was needed, which incurred a five-place grid penalty for the driver.
But any disadvantage of the penalty was watered down after the Italian team failed to prepare the car in time to get the 32-year-old back out on to the track to try and get as high as on the grid as possible.
With no time set, Massa will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix dead last.
“It is the worst track to have such a problem," he said.
His situation was similar to teammate Fernando Alonso’s miserable afternoon at Monte Carlo in 2010 when the Spaniard too had crashed in final practice and consequently failed to qualify.
Alonso, who had started 24th, finished the Monaco GP in sixth place three years ago.
"I am well aware how starting from the back of the grid here in Monaco can make a difficult race even harder," Alonso said sympathising with his teammate.