Issues for Massa restrict Malaysia practice running

Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Felipe Massa had a disappointing opening day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix after he experienced issues with his Williams FW38.

The Williams Martini Racing driver finished the opening practice session in eighteenth ahead of the Renault Sport of Jolyon Palmer, ending the session with a fastest lap time of 1:38.339. Compared to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, this was a poor performance by the Brazilian as Bottas finished 0.478 seconds ahead in twelfth.

In the second practice session, Massa was able to improve on from Free Practice 1 by 1.229 seconds, finishing the session in fifteenth ahead of the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat. Massa was unable to complete as much as he would have liked on Friday as he experienced an issue on one of his wheel rims when he was on a set of hard tyres.

With the whole venue being resurfaced and nine corners being altered, the track is slightly new to drivers and teams. For Massa he believes his afternoon wasn’t as straightforward as it normally is, and he is hopeful of a better Saturday when they continue at the Sepang International Circuit for Free Practice 3.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do today,” said Massa. “I had to abort a few laps as we had an issue which lost us some time.

“So it wasn’t a straightforward afternoon. The pace also wasn’t fantastic compared to others, so we have work to do tonight to hopefully have a better Saturday.”