Williams’ Felipe Massa is anticipating a strong start to the season after today posting the fastest time of winter testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The Brazilian driver’s time of 1:33.258 was three-hundredths of a second quicker than Nico Rosberg’s benchmark that was set at Sakhir last week. He rallied to see off the German once again today as the two drivers exchanged fastest laps late on.
Massa not only set a quick one-lap pace with the Williams FW36, but he also enjoyed good reliability by completing 99 laps on the penultimate day of winter testing. As a result, he is anticipating a good start to the season in Australia.
“We had a very good day today doing almost 100 laps,” Massa explained. “We did a lot more performance work in the car which is something that we haven’t done so much of so far. I’m really happy with the car and feel we found a good balance. We did so much work on the set-up but it is very important that we go to Australia prepared.
“Of course you are always happy when you see your name at the top in first place, but as well as performance, today was good for the mileage and reliability of the car which we know is needed for Australia.”
Although it is only testing, Massa is confident that Williams have done everything possible to prepare for the coming season and adapted to the new technical regulations well.
“You can never be sure that you are 100% ready for the first race, but I feel that what we have done in these days testing has been important for making sure that we have a car that can not only get to the end of the race, but that will have good performance as well.”
Williams have ran strongly throughout winter testing along with the other Mercedes-powered teams, and Massa will be hoping to lead the British team’s charge in 2014 as they bounce back from a disastrous 2013 campaign.
Massa joins Williams after eight seasons with Ferrari, and he looks to be in a new lease of life. In interviews, he appears to be far more comfortable and relaxed whilst his on track pace appears to also have improved. It remains to be seen whether this will carry over into the new season, but the popular Brazilian has every reason to be excited about 2014 with Williams.