Felipe Massa: “Ericsson Hit Me and Ruined my Qualifying”

The Williams F1 team endured a disappointing qualifying session in Monaco, with Valtteri Bottas qualifying in 13th while Felipe Massa will start 16th after being the innocent victim as he tried to allow the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson overtake at Mirabeau but the two collided as the Swede corrected a rear-end slide that resulted in the Caterham and the Williams drivers ending up in the wall.

Brazilian Massa felt it was possible to get a decent grid slot on the grid having been faster than his team-mate in the first part of qualifying, and knows the race is going to be a challenge to get points from so far back.

“I did everything I could in the first session but at the end Ericsson hit me and that ruined my qualifying,” said a dejected Massa. “I was hopeful for a good position today as the car actually felt ok; it would have been a fight to get into the top ten, not easy, but possible. I am disappointed and tomorrow is going to be a challenge but with this car points are still possible.”

Team-mate Bottas was also disappointed with his qualifying effort, with a lack of grip affecting the young Finnish driver. He is hoping for a clean race so he can pick up some more points for his team, having finished in the points at every race so far in 2014.

”As a team this wasn’t the optimum result,” said Bottas. “The issue we had was the getting heat into the front tyres. The car felt ok, but I didn’t have the grip that I wanted. We have some work to do to try and get this sorted for tomorrow. I am still optimistic of some points though as they are only a few places away and anything can happen in Monaco.”

Rob Smedley, the Head of Performance Engineering at Williams, felt the team should have been higher up the grid, but with the midfield being very close together, they will have to fight to get some points in the race.

“Today hasn’t been the easiest of days as is clear from our qualifying positions,” said Smedley. “Qualifying is important here however there are 78 laps tomorrow meaning we still have time to recuperate and score some points. The midfield was very tight and sadly due to the nature of the circuit we were towards the back of it rather than in our usual position at the front of it. There were just a few tenths in it from where we should be so we need to analyse everything to ensure we understand it more for tomorrow.

“Felipe had an unlucky session with the incident with Ericsson, which is unfortunate, as he was looking good up to that point and we didn’t quite have the pace in Valtteri’s car. There is a little bit of work to do to get into the points tomorrow but it is ultimately still very possible.”