DRS failure the cause of Massa practice crash


Felipe Massa - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Felipe Massa’s crash during the first practice session in Montreal on Friday was caused when the DRS on his Williams Martini Racing machine failed to close properly as he headed into the braking zone at turn one.

Massa was almost a helpless passenger in his FW38 due to the failure, with his crash bringing out a red flag as his car was recovered after its hard hit into the barriers.

The team are looking into the DRS issue, which meant Massa finished down in fourteenth in the session, but more importantly it cost him some valuable track time, although the veteran Brazilian with able to get back on track for the second session.

“FP1 was a little bit fraught with what happened on Felipe’s car,” said Rob Smedley, the Head of Performance Engineering at Williams. “The DRS didn’t close under braking, we’re still investigating as to why, but that then left Felipe with a lack of rear downforce under braking and he spun causing quite a lot of damage.

“We did a very good job to get the car built for FP2, where we tried to recover some of the test programme that we missed out on in FP1 on Felipe’s car.”