Felipe Massa, Williams, Albert Park, 2015

Williams still off the pace in wet conditions – Massa

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa, Williams, Albert Park, 2015Williams are still at a disadvantage in wet weather conditions compared to their rivals, according to Felipe Massa.

The FW37s were seven-tenths of a second behind the Mercedes in dry conditions during practice, but over two-and-a-half seconds slower when it rained in Q3.

“We still have some of the issues in the wet that we had last season,” said Massa, who will start seventh ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas. “Hopefully we can now look to solve a few of those.”

“Tomorrow looks like it will be dry though, so we hope for a better race,” he added. “I think in the dry we can both be in the top five.”

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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 still off the pace in wet conditions – Massa”

  1. In all honesty it does show the advantage of the Mercedes engine. I have no doubt that the Williams is a good chassis, but the engine is what makes most of the difference.

    1. Ummmm, same engine? I think a good chassis has more of an effect in the wet than the engine. Unless you are referring to the software, in which case I would only partially agree and say that it’s a combination of chassis and software.

      1. Correct. Q3 showed that Mercedes, Ferrari, Toro Rosso and to a lesser extent Red Bull (now that they have gone back to less radical settings) have well-balanced chassis with a lot of downforce. Williams are great in the dry but in the wet barely better than Sauber (who made a half-hearted attempt almost as if they wanted wet-track data rather than to qualify as high as possible) which means both of you are right. If it turns out to be a wet race, I wouldn’t bet on Williams even finishing in the points.

    2. That doesn’t begin to make sense. They have the same engine as Mercedes, but it’s clear as day that’s all they have going. Both this car and last year’s are lacking in downforce. When Ferrari, Renault and Honda more or less catch up, Williams will go back to their usual performance.

  2. One question for Symonds: Why did you decide not to run in wet in Jerez?

    1. That was exactly what I was thinking during testing. Given the problems Williams had in the wet last year, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to get same laps in, in those conditions to see if they can address the problem. I think Williams were fortunate today that it didn’t rain earlier, otherwise they could have been even further out of position for the race tomorrow.

  3. Lewisham Milton
    28th March 2015, 15:59

    Try putting the right tyres on it.
    Bit of a worry if they’ve done the same thing again with rear aero, gearing or whatever that they suffered from last year. On the other hand, how many times in a season does it rain?

    1. There were quite a few wet qualies last year IIRC

  4. “We still have some of the issues in the wet that we had last season,” said Massa.
    Maybe that’s because last season he was already part of the team…

    1. He out-qualified Bottas.
      On another note, it does seem to be a recurring theme of the last couple of seasons that their strategy is not up to scratch. Wasn’t Rob Smedley brought in to help with this?

  5. Williams is doing right on their way back to the top.
    But i hope, when possible, they bring better strategists.
    They are ALWAYS the team to lose some good opportunity because of a wrong strategy.
    Half the track time on Q3 was lost wandering with the wrong tyres. As a result they did only one flying lap while other teams did at least 3.

    Both drivers and the car are not to blame this time.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong but Williams started Q3 with Full Wets, changed to Intermediates, did one timed lap, then pitted for fresh Intermediates for a second effort. As fresh/warm intermediates were a second quicker on the first timed lap than a subsequent second timed lap, how can you say Williams botched it? It’s the Williams chassis which is not good enough.

      1. They did one timed lap only, with 0 sécs left to the end of the session.

        Then the team itself admitted the mistake, só im quite confortable with what im saying.

        1. Lotus and Sauber too went out on full wets first so I suppose you mean they botched it too? Sauber even made a hot run on the full wets before ordering Ericsson to the pits for intermediates. What if the choice of full wets first had been the correct one – and don’t tell me “evereyone” should have known that in advance – would you then be saying Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull had botched it?

          As for Williams “ALWAYS (being) the team to lose some good opportunity”, what about Ferrari missing out twice with Raikkönen? IIRC, Williams didn’t do that badly in Australia.

          1. On Australia again they themselves admitted their mistake.
            USA last year, again.

            They have a good car. They are on position to be conservative.
            But yeah, their strategist suck.

          2. Can you support that “good car” claim? Maybe we should revisit William’s performance in wet conditions, Monaco, Singapore and Hungary.

      2. Agreed. If they had put in a banker lap with the full wets that was faster than everyone else they would be hailed as master strategists. You can’t get every call right, especially when it comes to rain. Sometimes the only way to tell how wet it is, is to get on the track and find out. Sure it turned out to be a “mistake” this time but maybe next time it won’t.

        1. This was already “next time”.

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