Massa battles through field to secure points finish


Credit: Octane Photographic

Felipe Massa put in a solid drive to deliver points for Williams Martini Racing at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix after starting the race from eighteenth place due to a poor qualifying session.

The Brazilian benefitted from an early pitstop on lap eight and he made up ten places over the course of the race, finishing just 1.169 seconds behind the seventh-placed Sergio Perez.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering was impressed with Massa’s efforts in the Grand Prix as he stayed out of trouble to help the team record another double points finish and score a total 14 points.

“Felipe’s race was much more complex. It was a much harder job to get those four points.” said Smedley.

“I think we did a really good job in terms of strategy, which we switched around a little bit. We had planned a three-stop strategy, but we changed our tyre plan in the middle of the race to ensure Felipe had good pace to overtake and make progress when he needed to. We got him past the McLarens and onto the back of Perez, but he was unfortunately not able to pass at the end.

“That’s what we expected him to do in the race, and Felipe delivered. It was unfortunate he had to start from eighteenth, but we’ve all made mistakes and we’ve got to learn from them and do better next time.”

Massa enjoyed the race, admitting that it was a good team performance on a track that wasn’t really suited to them.

“It was definitely a very good race for us with some good points, finishing eighth positon from starting eighteenth.” said Massa. “It was a difficult race, and not on our best track to finish in the points, so I’m happy. I know we’ve lost points compared to Red Bull, but that’s the way it is.”

The next race on the calendar is the Monaco Grand Prix and Massa is already looking forward to the challenge of his ‘home’ track.

“Looking forward to Monaco, I hope we can show that we have a better car for that type of track, as we have struggled there over the last two years.

“Monaco is Monaco though and anything can happen.” added Massa.