Massa ‘not the only one smiling’ at Williams

2014 F1 season

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Felipe Massa says morale is high at Williams following a productive end to the team’s first test of the year.

Massa headed the times sheets on the last day of the test, covered their highest mileage in a single day – and said he could have done more.

“If you see how we started the first day, how was the second day, it was not so easy to be sure to know we were going to do 86 laps,” said Massa following the last day of the test.

“So we were able to do 86 laps, we were able to do more today because so many runs I had to stop because of the red flag, some things that happen that was not a problem in the car. So today maybe we could run a little bit more laps.

“But I think it was positive. It was positive that we didn’t have any problem to stop the car on the track, any problem that it takes so long to go out again.”

Massa said the high mileage day gives “more confidence for the driver, for me, for Valtteri [Bottas] but also for the people.”

“I think the people are so happy, they smiling in my face is not just only my face, you can see people smiling inside. The mechanics, engineers, I think that’s very important for the working, for the confidence, for the progress inside the team.”

Some aspects of the car’s handling need further work, he added, singling out the new brake-by-wire system as one of them.

“I still need to improve a lot the way I’m braking because it’s different, it’s a little bit strange sometimes.”

“We still need to understand how to use engine,” Massa continued. “You have a lot of wheelspin, the car has a lot less downforce than last year.”

“The engine is strong but with less downforce it makes [it] difficult to drive so it’s important to understand how to use the gear shift, how you need to use the engine. So for sure is a lot to improve.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Massa ‘not the only one smiling’ at Williams”

  1. I really hope for the for Williams. This team is going in the right direction for the moment, and the addition of Massa in substitution of Maldonado makes it even more friendly, plus Bottas will strengthen this year.

  2. Its easy to forget that Williams has one of the largest F1 facilities on the grid. I still can’t explain there problems from 2005-2013.

    1. I still can’t explain there problems from 2005-2013.

      Lack of manufacturer support and lack of funds, which are somewhat related. There you go, explained. It really ain’t much more than that. Unfortunately, F1 success is impossible without money. Enstone came close few times, but my honest opinion is that Enstone is the biggest tallent generator in F1 for the last 30 years, along with McLaren. Most of the great engineers have made their name in those teams and they are the only teams where you really see new talents always coming to the scene.

    2. @full-throttle-f1 same… well, back in the day, their relationship with BMW was sort of cracking. Then they made the bold decision to go with Cosworth and then Toyota. They lost sponsorship in the way, and well… it’s hard to raise things up that way…

    3. Williams is itself to blame for their performance in the past decade. they have had a budget, and have had access to nearly every F1 engine available during the past decade (bmw, Toyota, cosworth etc), but they keep getting it wrong. in 2001-2004 they nearly got back on the winnng path, but didn’t have NEWEY anymore, since 05/06 they have been a huge disappointment, which will continue this year – with only the formula change giving hope to Williams fans, instead of better car design – it is sad and lame that the fans are almost “relying” on the rule changes to help Williams get back into a competitive position – when it is Williams who should have been doing that in the past 8 years or so.

  3. I don’t think I’ve seen Massa so upbeat since his accident. I do hope he’s the driver that Williams have been looking for, they’ve been after one for years now!

    1. It seems that every secondary driver for Ferrari seems to have a much better career after leaving the team.

      1. How & who exactly? I don’t remember any of them winning the WDC after leaving Ferrari. My memory is short, I have only followed F1 for the past 14 years. So bear with me if I missed anything.

        1. Rubens, Irvine…. etc

          Yeah for sure they aren’t in a position to win the championship, Well, Rubens almost did. But they tend to have post Ferrari revivals of form.

          1. I’m not sure I’d say that Barrichello was close. He was always a step behind Button. He had some great moments, but never got close enough to actually mount a challenge.

    2. 4 years with a certain Teflonso didn’t do him too much good.

      (well, don’t read too much into the Teflonso comment. In fact I’m a hardcore fan of him, but really Massa should have moved on from Ferrari after 2011..or even 2010, and not a day later. Then probably his disastrous 1st half of 2012 wouldn’t happen.)

    3. sorry, what a ridiculous statement

      1. In what way?

  4. It’s simply wonderful to see such genuine optimism in Massa’s comments. It’s a refreshing change from Massa’s interviews in recent years, in which he’s constantly had to defend himself and insist that he’s still got a place at Ferrari. You can visibly tell he’s had the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders. Good for you, Felipe. And good for Williams. Here’s hoping they have many more reasons to keep smiling in 2014.

  5. Suddenly I’ve developed an affinity towards Williams in the winter tests. Last couple of years I really wasn’t a big fan. It didn’t matter if they existed or not on the grid. I’ll be honest, upon thinking, it was Pastor Maldonado who created some unfriendly (I won’t call it negative) vibes.

  6. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    31st January 2014, 19:51

    Looks like Williams are already playing the aero game. Look at the picture posted above, Williams added a vane to the lower side of the side pods that runs nearly the entire length. This piece was absent at the start of testing.

    1. @braketurnaccelerate

      Looks like Williams are already playing the aero game.

      You seem surprised by it! Just because Williams haven´t done much in the last few years, it doesn´t mean they are not into the aero game… Like it was explained before, they just didn´t have funds. It seems Massa´s money and Bottas´ is finally doing some good to the team! I really hope they make it back to the front of the grid. It´s about time we had a season where all the proper teams battle it out! I for one am stoked about a MACCA/FERRARI/MERC and possibly WILLIAMS season!!!!! Everything seems to be pointing in that direction!!

    2. I am extremely happy for Williams. They obviously had the advantage to start their studies way earlier than most of the top teams in 2013 and Williams has never been short of imagination and great brains. Yes, the money… damn money is the only problem

  7. Ha ha new experience for Massa there, the smiling engineerings. Guess that wasn’t the case in Ferrari.
    Seriously I hope Williams will do good this year.

  8. I’m really happy that they got some wind in their sails; they really deserve it after fighting to keep afloat for so long.
    And talk about dodging a bullet by changing to Mercedes engines this year!

  9. Williams’ decision to switch from the Renault to Mercedes powerplant in 2014 was one of the most brilliant engine choices in the last 20 years.

    1. I am sure that Ferrari would never follow William’s and Mclaren’s footsteps to change engine.

  10. I for one have never been a Williams or Massa fan. Not that I dislike them, I was more ambivalent, that said, I would love for there to be an entire season like the first third of 2012, with Mclaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Williams, and Lotus being able to win races. That kind of competition at the front is what F1 is all about and I am hoping for it in 2014.

  11. Williams was happy with their car after testing last year. We all know what happened next.

    1. True that.

      Remember Maldonado saying it was the best car he’s ever driven. In fact that Williams really looked like a car that had got it right last year.. with some really tight rear end packaging + renault engine

  12. I can’t wait to see this car in a Martini Racing livery! Williams will definitely be my underdog team this year.

  13. i remember at the same time last year when maldonado called last years car “the best he had ever driven”
    and we know how that year went..

    1. I think mldonado will be more cautious with his words this year when Lotus goes testing, he probably learned a thing about PR last year – even if it was a nice car to drive – it does not mean it will be competitive.

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