sport

Massa: I acted correctly

Felipe Massa insisted he had no regrets over ignoring Williams team orders over the closing laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

With Massa and team-mate Valtteri Bottas running in seventh and eighth positions late on, the Brazilian was given an instruction he felt he would never hear again.

It was in 2010 during his time with Ferrari when, despite leading the German Grand Prix, he was told over the team radio "Felipe, Fernando (Alonso) is faster than you. Do you understand?"

At the time team orders were banned, but the inference was obvious, with Ferrari later penalised financially for breaking the rules.

That incident also led to the ban being rescinded, leaving teams free to instruct their drivers as they see fit.

So with Bottas on fresher tyres and closing in on Massa, and with McLaren's Jenson Button in striking distance, the latter was told: "Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you. Please let him by."

Bottas was also informed he was quicker than Massa and was given clearance to overtake. However, the latter held his ground and put up a fight, holding on to seventh come the chequered flag.

Defending his position, Massa said: "I'm trying to do the best for the team, that's the most important thing.

"I'm sure the result would not have changed if I had let him by, so what I did was correct and I've no regrets.

"What happened was not what I expected, but in the end what I did was correct."

Bottas, though, believes he would have finished in sixth if Massa had eased aside as he said: "There was a possibility.

"I really think I could have had a good shot at Jenson and maybe get more points for the team.

"We are going to talk it through and analyse what happened and what we need to do next time in similar situations just so everything is clear.

"Hopefully it will allow us to get more points in the future."

Williams chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson made clear Massa was at fault, but also claimed they would have forced Bottas to hand back the place if he failed to pass Button.

"He (Massa) didn't do what we would have preferred him to do," said Nelson.

"Felipe was running fairly high temperatures on his engine and we were a little bit concerned about it and Valtteri had much fresher tyres, certainly (fresher) than those on Jenson's car.

"We thought it would be good to give Valtteri a go at getting past Jenson and if he hadn't achieved that then in two or three laps we would have swapped our drivers over again and everyone would have been happy.

"It's no big deal, every team does it."