Williams ready to win races – Massa

2015 F1 season

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Felipe Massa believes the revitalised Williams team is now ready to challenge for victories.

Massa echoed the view of team mate Valtteri Bottas who said the team have made great gains in the last 12 months.

“It’s a different team,” said Massa. “It’s a lot better team, much more prepared, much more experienced.”

“So everything is different, the team is a lot more prepared in a much better shape compared to how we start last year. We had a good car, we had a fantastic season the development was great but I think the team is a lot more prepared, which is good.”

Williams came close to victory on more than one occasion last year, and Massa now think they could win under the same circumstances. “I think so,” he said. “Not many races – maybe one race.”

Massa spent his first day at the wheel of the FW37 today and said he was especially pleased with the improvements made to the car’s rear end stability.

“That is what I feel better than how we finished the season so I think that’s the most important point that I felt today,” he said. “Not just me but even Valtteri yesterday and the day before I think it’s the first point to trying to have an easier car, a better car in this situation.”

“Too early” to judge Ferrari pace

Both Ferrari-powered cars have topped the first three days of running so far at Jerez but Massa, whose Mercedes engine is not yet being used to its full, cautioned against drawing conclusions about their rivals’ performance.

“It’s too early to say,” he said. “We didn’t see anything for the moment, we just saw the first days of testing and we saw that it’s still a long way to go.”

“I think maybe if these guys that was doing a quick lap time like Ferrari, for example, if they until the last Barcelona being impressive in terms of lap time maybe we start to think about ‘are they going to be there?’ But it’s too early.”

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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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18 comments on “Williams ready to win races – Massa”

  1. I’ve always had a lot of respect for a team like Williams. That only increased when they took on a brilliant young Finnish driver and managed to get a certain Felipe Massa to re-find some of his late-2000s form. It would be nice to see them reach the top step once again, but I am not entirely convinced that they will win this year. Yes, they had the second best car last year for much of the season, but we are assuming that this will happen once again, and the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will not surprise us when/if Mercedes trip up as they did on three occasions last year. There are certain engine modes which Mercedes-powered teams require permission to use against the works team if I remember rightly too.

    Perhaps, given the right circumstances, they might sneak a victory. I feel that it will be unlikely however, especially as I fear a similar dominance by Mercedes this year.

    1. @craig-o True. But I would not rule out reliability too quickly, and on that matter, Williams did a really nice job last year.

    2. @craig-o That whole “banned engine modes vs the works team” thing turned out to just be a false rumour, as Pat Symonds confirmed to Sky Sports:
      Asked by Sky Sports News HQ whether there was any truth to claims that their contract with the German manufacturer stipulated they couldn’t release the full power of the engine when in combat with a Mercedes works car, Symonds replied: “There’s absolutely nothing in the contract that goes to anywhere near that sort of level of detail.
      “They had a really good car last year and that’s what we aspire to.”


  2. Maybe I’m missing something but how can you evaluate any changes aimed at improving a cars rear end stability (or front end stability for that matter) without testing that car at ten/tenths, at the edge of its performance capabilities? The only way to know a car will handle well at its limits is to drive it at its limits.

    1. I would assume that, as experienced racers, they can tell the difference between the stability of last year’s car and this year’s even when not pushing it to its maximum (presumably they have a “short of flat out” reference for last year’s car as well).

      1. Thanks for the link. Davidson is spot on, for he is a test pilot.

        AD: “You can hide lap times with fuel loads and so on, but a driver will always still know if his car is quick or not. I think some people seriously under-estimate how much ‘feel’ a racing driver has for his car at this level. These cars really talk to you when you’re inside them and a driver is so well connected with the car that he will be able to feel the smallest detail – a 5psi difference in tyre pressure, for instance, will be felt by a driver at this level – and so he will definitely know very quickly whether in general they have a better car than last year.”

        That being said, some top level drivers are better suited to development, and some better suited to racecraft. Big respect to A.D.

        1. I agree @ferrox-glideh , the feel these guys have for settings and detail would be beyond belief ,
          But I think you might mean a 0.5 psi difference ,

          A 5 psi is significant even in a dodgy road car,
          On my old road bike (900cc Kwaka on AvGas) a 2 psi difference in front tyre pressure from optimal made it horrid to ride,

          1. I also remember Damon Hill asking for a wing adjustment at Suzuka in the Jordan of 0.5%

        2. I remember hearing a story about Jenson Button testing at Barcelona, and complaining that the 100m marker was 2m wrong. Pretty good going if you’re travelling at 70 metres per second or so.

      2. I don’t doubt for an instant that drivers have a great deal of “feel” for their car. That being said, the only way to “feel” how a car is going to respond when you put the pedal to the firewall in turn 2 is to actually put the pedal to the firewall in turn 2 and see how it feels. That’s true regardless of whether you have a full tank or an empty one.

        1. That’s why we are not racing drivers, I guess.

  3. doubt it. Williams only touched lucky last year because of Ferrari and Renault shooting themselves in both feet and elbows.

  4. I got the feeling Williams couldn’t believe their luck last year, they seemed happy to take low risk strategies rather than push for wins, like a team that didn’t believe their advantage would last. If they really intend to take the fight to the top teams they’ll have to improve their race strategy and pit stops.

    1. Williams have always favored low-risk strategies to their obvious detriment.

    2. A bit like how Sauber failed to win in Malaysia in 2012

      1. Yeah Bas, I’d forgotten about that. It’s the same feeling I got then.

  5. Maybe Felipe but so are Ferrari and maybe McLaren. Along with obvious faves Mercedes and last years’s runner-up Red Bull. All we can say is best wishes!

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