The Williams-Martini team finished Friday’s two free practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix feeling reasonably happy with their results, despite Felipe Massa suffering from rear-wing issues.
The red flag was brought out in FP2 after the Brazilian lost control of his car at the end of the long straight, locking-up his tyres and sliding off the track.
Massa had set the 10th quickest lap-time in FP1, with a 1:41.303 lap-time, before finishing FP2 down in 17th position due to his accident.
Afterwards, Massa said: “The first session went to plan, but this afternoon we had a few issues with the rear wing. Under braking I lost all grip in the rear tyres and as a result the car spun which put me out for the rest of the session. We lost a lot of time, but the team made the changes to Valtteri’s rear wing so the same wouldn’t happen to him. We need to have a strong day tomorrow to set ourselves up well for the race.”
Rob Smedley, the team’s Head of Performance Engineering, was able to shed some light on Massa’s accident following the session.
He said: “We completed the majority of our plan today, unfortunately we didn’t get all the data we would have liked to due to Felipe’s spin in the second session. The spin was caused by a rear wing stall which was easy to rectify so we were confident when sending Valtteri back out.”
Valtteri Bottas’ day went smoother than that of his teammates, with the 25-year-old finishing FP1 in ninth place before rising up to seventh place in FP2, with a lap-time of 1:38.850.
Bottas said: “It was a normal Friday for us without any mistakes or unknowns. The updates we brought have worked, so we are a little quicker through the corners now, which is always positive. The temperature here suits us better than in Malaysia, so I think we can be strong in qualifying but we need to make sure we focus on the race and especially on the front left tyre graining.”