Malaysian GP: Felipe Massa fears Williams could slip back

Felipe Massa is concerned Williams may slip back in Formula 1's pecking order, unless it pushes on developing aerodynamic parts for its car

Malaysian GP: Felipe Massa fears Williams could slip back

Williams looked to have the second fastest car in race trim at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but both Massa and team-mate Valtteri Bottas complained of a lack of rear grip from the FW36.

The team has introduced cooling updates for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, but Massa feels Williams needs to push on aerodynamically to avoid slipping behind rival teams.

"You're always concerned that maybe some other teams improve their cars and we will have the same car," said Massa.

"We have the same car more or less compared to Australia. This is a different track, so we need to see how the car behaves here, but we're working 100 per cent in the factory to improve.

"I'm sure when we fix the car will grow and show a better balance. We're missing a bit of rear downforce but we're working on that."

The Brazilian feels Williams started further down the grid than it should have in Melbourne, where a wet qualifying session exposed the FW36's rear grip issues.

He expects the team will be able to fight for top six positions in qualifying in Malaysia, even without a substantially different car to the one he drove in Australia.

"We didn't start in the right position [in Australia]," Massa added. "In normal circumstances we could start in the top five.

"We showed very good performance in the race. The car was competitive. If I didn't have the problem in the first corner I think it was possible to get both cars on the podium.

"I think we have a good car anyway and we can be there fighting. Maybe now until Barcelona you will see many different results, many improvements from other teams, from us as well.

"We will see how it's going to happen race by race."

shares
comments
Jenson Button: McLaren can catch 2014 Formula 1 pacesetter Mercedes

Previous article

Jenson Button: McLaren can catch 2014 Formula 1 pacesetter Mercedes

Next article

Ferrari had software problem early in Australian Grand Prix

Ferrari had software problem early in Australian Grand Prix
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Teams Williams
Author Ben Anderson
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021