Felipe Massa said Ferrari is no closer to understanding the gap in performance to his team-mate Fernando Alonso after 15 positions separated them at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

14049 - Massa still baffled by gap to Alonso

Alonso put in another impressive performance to win at Sepang while Massa dropped backwards after a strong start. He was running eighth at the midpoint of the race but tyre degradation and an extra pit stop meant he plummeted to 15th by the chequered flag.

"Obviously I am disappointed with my result," Massa said. "Things were going well at the start and I was able to fight with the drivers directly ahead of me. When the track was drying, I suffered more and more with tyre degradation and I could not maintain a good pace. We opted to follow what Rosberg was doing ahead of me, as he too was apparently struggling with his tyres, but it did not work out and we lost a lot of time with this extra stop, given also that the others stayed on track for around a dozen laps more before switching to the dry tyres.

"It is important for us to try and understand why there is such a strong difference in the way our cars perform, but ultimately, our aim is to have a more competitive car in as short a time as possible."

Massa had a new chassis for the Malaysian Grand Prix as Ferrari wanted to rule out any suspicions that his poor performance in Australia was due to a car problem. Team principal Stefano Domenicali said Ferrari would continue to give Massa everything he needs to improve.

"Felipe suffered too much with degradation on his front tyres, which led to him making one more stop than his team-mate: this is a particularly difficult moment for him, because he cannot get the most out of a car that, objectively, is very difficult to drive. We have an obligation to stay close to him, which is as it should be in such a closely knit team."