Felipe Massa expected more from qualifying

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Felipe Massa has revealed his disappointment with his qualifying performance, having expected to qualify higher than 6th.

“For sure I expected a little bit more,” Massa said in an interview with Adam Cooper. “I definitely expected to be fighting for the top three, looking that I was first this morning, the car was good this morning.”

This morning, Massa finished quickest in final practice but he could not repeat this form in qualifying. Having just made it through to Q3 on a single run, the Brazilian driver struggled in the last session. He does believe that the other cars were holding back during final practice, hence why he could not match their pace.

“The others improved a lot, so I’m sure they were a little bit too conservative this morning, and they were preparing everything for the qualifying.”

Massa was unsurprised by Mercedes’ good pace, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton locking out the front row for the German marque.

“I knew Mercedes would have been strong here, because they were very strong in the winter. It’s a track they can be very strong in the qualifying, but in the race, I don’t know – maybe a bit less.”

Ferrari will be disappointed to have finished so far behind Mercedes, but if they can perfect their race strategy, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa could yet finish on the podium in Barcelona tomorrow.

Following a grid penalty, Massa will start the Spanish Grand Prix from 9th.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”