Felipe Massa 'proud' of 'special' maiden podium in Monaco

Felipe Massa has said that he is proud of taking his maiden podium in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship at last weekend's Monaco E-Prix - the home race of Venturi.

Massa joined the Monegasque Venturi squad for Season 5 and experienced a difficult debut in the all-electric single-seater series, failing to record points in the first three rounds of the season before finishing inside the top 10 in Santiago, heading to Monaco with a best finish of fifth after three further points finishes.

In Monaco, Massa impressed in qualifying to secure a spot inside the Super Pole shootout, starting the 45-minute + 1 lap race from fourth on the grid. 

Securing a strong start from the second row, Massa maintained fourth on the opening lap, holding off a charge from Nissan e.dams' Sebastien Buemi before the Brazilian inherited third place when second-placed runner Pascal Wehrlein made a mistake into Turn 1 nine minutes into the race.

Holding off a late charge from Wehrlein, Massa held onto third to see the chequered flag, despite running out of usable energy 150m before the finish line, narrowly beating the trailing German by only 0.178s.

Standing on the final step of the podium, third in Monaco marked Massa's first top-three finish in Formula E while it also marked the first time that the driver has stood on a podium since the 2015 Italian Grand Prix when driving for Williams in Formula 1. 

“What a great feeling!" said Massa, who moved into 14th in the Drivers' Championship as a result.

"Qualifying was fantastic and it was an amazing race too - nice and clean. I’ve had good qualifying results before but something always happened during the race. So far, I’ve never had a completely clean race that allowed me to get the very best from the car.

"[In Monaco] we had no mistakes, nothing like someone pushing me out and breaking the car like I had in Hong Kong. It's the best place to do it here in Monaco - the home E-Prix for the team and for me.

"It was so special being on the podium and seeing my son screaming for me - that's a great feeling," he continued. "Looking at these kind of things just makes you feel so proud.

"I'm doing what I love to do and having the results too is always the best achievement. Our Monegasque President Gildo [Pastor] was understandably emotional after the race, it’s a big day for him too and I’m very happy that we could share it together.

"I want to say a huge thank you to the fans as well, the atmosphere was incredible. I hope this is a sign of more good things to come for me.”