Felipe Massa: “We’re definitely in the fight”

Felipe Massa was confident after Friday's Free Practice sessions in Azerbaijan - Credit: Charles Coates/Williams

Felipe Massa reflected on a positive Friday at the Baku Street Circuit for the Williams Martini Racing team, with the veteran Brazilian finishing eighth in first practice and eleventh in the second.

Massa felt there was more time to come from his FW40, especially after encountering traffic when running with fresh tyres, but he was happy with the balance of his car and with his long run pace in Azerbaijan.

“It was a good day,” said Massa. “I was happy with the car. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really put together a lap on fresh tyres, because of the traffic and the yellow flags. But, I was happy with the balance and I was happy with the long runs. 

“The little mistakes that we made today weren’t a big problem, because we didn’t damage anything, which is always a positive thing here. We’re definitely in the fight, so I hope that we can put everything together for qualifying tomorrow.”

Massa admitted he was happy that team-mate Lance Stroll showed some good pace and confidence on his first visit to the Baku Street Circuit, with the result last time out in Canada going a long way for the young Canadian who finished FP2 up in sixth, by far his best practice day of his rookie season.

“It was very good for him, he did a good lap time,” said Massa to Autosport. “It shows that he’s getting confidence, it shows a good race in Canada is helping his confidence.

“He doesn’t know the track, it’s his first time here, so definitely it was the best Friday he’s had all season.”