Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa says the team now need a faultless final few days testing to ensure they are ready ahead of the new season.
Having lost valuable track time during the first week of testing, after rookie teammate Lance Stroll crashed the FW40 on day three, which caused the Grove based squad to sit out the final days running due to lack of parts; Massa was able to complete a full programme on Monday, which included setting the fastest lap time of the day.
The Brazilian was pleased with the work completed and the overall feel of the car, but warned the team must have more issue free days like that to ensure they are in the best shape possible before round one of the 2017 Formula 1 championship begins in just over two weeks’ time.
“Always when you lose a day it is not great. Maybe something we did today we could have done last week, but it was not possible.
“But we managed to do a lot more today. We managed to get some good feelings from the car; we managed to see the car is reliable which is important.
“So, for sure when you lose days and the car is not running due to reliability issues and other stuff, it is more negative. I don’t think it was that negative for us.
“We still have three days in front, we haven’t got many parts, so we need to try to keep everything we can. It is so easy to go off.
“We need to try to keep doing what I did today, in all of these days. It will definitely be great for the team.”
Perhaps his words were a dig at teammate Stroll, perhaps not, but it is clear Williams cannot really afford for the Canadian to make any further test halting mistakes.
Despite posting the second fastest time of pre-season testing so far, Massa is remaining grounded on what can be expected from the team this season. Even with Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton, commenting on how much he would love Williams to be battling at the front again.
“I think we would love it a lot more than he would love! Definitely,” Massa said. “But we need to wait and see. Definitely Mercedes has shown already amazing speed last week.
“I don’t think we are at the same level as Mercedes, but I think if we can fight and have a great fight – maybe fighting for podiums is already a great job. So we need to wait and see in Australia.”