Felipe Massa: “It is unfortunate and painful for the team”


Felipe Massa lost sixth late on due to a puncture - Credit: Steven Tee/Williams

Felipe Massa was unlucky during the Russian Grand Prix to have been forced to pit for a second time through a slow puncture.

Massa had been running comfortably in sixth and looking to secure another important haul of points for Williams Martini Racing, who are eager to gain the upper hand in the tight midfield battle.

But a second stop pushed the Brazilian down to ninth, from which he was unable to recover.

“I’m disappointed, we were just unlucky with the tyres,” he said. “I was really taking care of the car and the tyres, keeping the gaps in the right place, and we had a sixth position in our pocket today.

“It is unfortunate and painful for the team that we have lost good points, but we can’t do anything about it.”

The fact that the FW40 was performing so strongly and that his race had been run to plan can only add to the annoyance. But as we have witnessed a multitude of times before, grand prix racing is far from straightforward.

The car felt good, it was consistent with a good pace, I had a good start and first lap,” he continued. “I was around eight seconds ahead of Perez, we were just unlucky.”

The Russian Grand Prix was won by former Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Massa was delighted about the Finn securing his first ever win in Formula 1, though he knew Bottas was capable of such a feat.

I’m so happy that Valtteri managed to get his first victory,” he added. “I knew when he signed for Mercedes that he was going to do a good job there, like he did for Williams, and he’s doing it.

“He will be a different driver now with that first victory in his pocket.”