Felipe Massa believes his Williams Martini Racing seem to be going backwards with their development programme so far in 2017 after being eliminated in the first qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday.
There had been hopes for a strong weekend in Spa-Francorchamps for the Grove-based team but both Massa and team-mate Lance Stroll found themselves on the wrong side of the cut off time, and the Brazilian was extremely disheartened to find themselves out-qualified by so many cars, especially as he was happy with the lap he did.
It has not been the best weekend for Massa, with a practice crash on Friday morning seeing him miss second practice, while he earned himself a five-place grid penalty in Saturday morning’s session after failing to slow down under yellow flags.
“It’s quite disappointing to go out of qualifying in Q1,” said Massa. “It shows that the main issues are that the car is not going forward. Others are going forward, we’re going backwards.
“It’s pretty clear that we need to improve the development, and to improve the pieces we put on the car and to make the car better, which is not what’s happening at the moment.
“I’m not used to being out in Q1 to be honest, so I wasn’t sure if it was 15th or 16th where you stay [to go through to Q2]. Anyway, I was happy with my lap time, but the car is not competitive enough.”