Felipe Massa: “It will be a difficult fight in front of us”

Credit: Charles Coates/Williams

Felipe Massa feels the midfield pack is evenly matched this weekend at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace as the veteran Brazilian ended Friday practice with two top-ten finishes.

The Williams Martini Racing driver, who has announced he will be retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season, ended seventh fastest in the morning session before placing eighth in the afternoon, but he feels the long run pace in particular appears to be similar to many teams in the midfield.

“It was a good Friday,” said Massa. “We managed to do some good lap times, and I think our long run pace is similar to many of the cars we are fighting.

“It will be a difficult fight in front of us, but we will try everything we can.”

Team-mate Lance Stroll took time to learn the Interlagos track on Friday, and ended outside the top ten in both sessions. The Canadian teenager was eleventh quickest in first practice but down in fourteenth in the second, but he admitted that he did not get a clean lap due to traffic so has higher hopes for a strong Qualifying performance on Saturday.

“My day was alright,” admitted Stroll. “It was my first time here so I was getting used to the track and doing the runs.

“I have things to work on, like always, but that is okay. The positives are the car is feeling quite competitive, and it is just about putting everything together and we have the time to do that tonight and tomorrow.

“We got quite compromised in FP2 with some traffic so I didn’t do a perfect lap. We have been competitive in the rain so if we have that tomorrow for qualifying it is not a problem.”