Felipe Massa: “The fans supporting me is a great motivation”

The Williams Martini Racing team scored a good haul of points last weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, but both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas admitted their disappointment to have missed out on a podium finish.

The Brazilian and the Finn will be hoping to get back into the top three this weekend at Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix as they continue to battle Ferrari for third place in the World Constructors’ Championship.

Massa heads into his home grand prix on the back of a fourth place finish in the United States last weekend, and acknowledged the support he receives from the fans is a big motivational factor for him.

“The track is great, although it’s very small it’s also very technical,” said Massa. “Corner one and two are very difficult especially as the gradient changes so there is a specific way to drive this sector. With two straights and a very slow section from corner seven to 11 it is important to have a well-balanced car and not focus on just one of those elements.

“To drive at my home Grand Prix is always special and to see the fans supporting me is a great motivation.”

Team-mate Bottas finished fifth in Austin last week, and feels Williams can be competitive once more as they look to consolidate third place in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of Ferrari. He admits to enjoying the challenge of the Interlagos circuit with its big elevation changes.

“It’s a great track with a big change in elevation,” said Bottas. “From the main straight to the second sector the track drops a lot, and then you have a big climb up hill in the last sector. There are some changes to the track for this year, they have resurfaced it and also the pit entry and exit are going to be a bit different than before.

“Setting up the car is not easy because of the long corners. Good balance is important but also a good straight-line speed, so I think we can be competitive here. The fans are really passionate here and the atmosphere is great, so with it being Felipe’s home Grand Prix I’m sure there will be a lot of Williams supporters around.”