Felipe Massa
Topic

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa: Mercedes tensions will carry on

In his latest column for Motorsport.com, Felipe Massa reflects on a difficult weekend in Austria and on the controversial crash between the Mercedes drivers.

Felipe Massa: Mercedes tensions will carry on
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38 sends sparks flying
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams with fans
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38

My Austrian Grand Prix weekend did not live up to expectations. My Williams Martini Racing team had been optimistic about our performance on the eve of the Red Bull Ring weekend, and we believed we could bring home important points from both cars.

Of course we needed some factors to go in our favour to deliver such a good outcome, but in the end things turned out to be different.

In my case, the weekend took a turn for the worse after qualifying, because until Saturday there were real possibilities of getting a good result.

Unfortunately before the race the Williams engineers discovered a problem with my front wing and the diagnosis was immediately clear: we would need to replace it.

It seems that contact with a kerb had created a crack in the wing, and to have started the race in that condition would have involved the risk of a failure.

Due to parc ferme regulations I had to change the wing and start the race from the pits, so I was facing an uphill struggle where I would always be stuck trying to get past cars.

The impact of that was that my brakes progressively began to overheat, and that meant I had to start leaving gaps to other cars in order to bring the temperatures down. But despite the inconvenience, my pace was already good.

I had got up to eighth place and had put on tyres that I knew could get me to the end of the race. I had Sergio Perez behind me and, although he had fresher tyres, he was struggling to get a good rhythm.

But then suddenly one of my tyres started losing pressure. So I had to pit for a new set, and when I got back out I was stuck behind many slower cars. The brake temperatures then shot to the sky and the team, as a precaution, decided to call me back to the pits and bring an end to my race.

It was a shame because, despite not having the pace of Mercedes, Ferrari nor Red Bull, there was still the possibility to finish the weekend with important points for the championship.

The one positive from the weekend though was that the pitstops were again fantastic – and fastest of everyone. It's becoming a nice habit.

Luckily there isn't a lot of time to regret the outcome of the Austria weekend because the focus switches immediately to the British Grand Prix, where we think we can deliver a result of a different kind. It's the home track of Williams and we have always been competitive there – so I hope we can continue this tradition.

Mercedes incident

Going back to last Sunday, though, I obviously watched the Hamilton/Rosberg duel. Having finished my race early, I was able to see live what happened between the two Mercedes drivers, and I admit that initially I thought it had been a racing accident.

But then later, thanks to watching the replays, I saw that most of the responsibility was down to Nico. He took a bit too long to turn right at that corner, and at that point contact with Lewis was inevitable.

I do not think Nico drove him off the track, but he did leave him very little space. After the race I was certain that they would not penalise him for it though, but I was wrong. Even with the penalty added to his time, he still finished the race in fourth position.

It is not easy to handle situations like this. Maybe in the next few races there will come team orders, but are we sure that the drivers will obey them? I must also say that for the fans, situations like what we had last weekend are exciting, create interest and give us plenty to talk about.

I believe that such a confrontation between two drivers is the main reason that there will be great attention on this championship. With two drivers who fight for the title with the same equipment, it is possible that this confrontation will continue until the last race.

It is nice for the spectators, but I would not want to be in the shoes of those who have to manage the team...

shares
comments
Mercedes team orders would be bad for F1 - Horner
Previous article

Mercedes team orders would be bad for F1 - Horner

Next article

Toro Rosso has to do better in qualifying - Sainz

Toro Rosso has to do better in qualifying - Sainz
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021