Felipe Massa is pleased with the progress that Williams has made over the winter testing period with its new car, the FW37, but feels that Mercedes is still the team to beat in 2015.
Massa finished as the fastest driver on the first day of the final pre-season test in Barcelona on Thursday, posting the quickest lap of the testing period so far.
Speaking to the media after the day’s running, the Brazilian said that Williams was looking to unlock more performance than it had previously in testing, but was still behind Mercedes in terms of pace.
“I think it was very good,” Massa said when asked about his day. “We did a lot of laps. To be honest, we never had a problem since Jerez in terms of reliablity, so the car always behaves well. It was another day that we did everything we were supposed to do in terms of mileage.
“The car is doing everything we want it to do. We tried to push a little bit more today in terms of performance, and I think the result was positive.
“It’s still difficult to be sure where we are, especially compared to Mercedes. I still believe Mercedes has the best car.”
Massa also praised the upgrades that Williams had brought to Barcelona for the final test, confirming that all of the new parts had remained on the car.
“The car is showing good performance, good handling, good understanding with everything we were working on the setup,” Massa said. “We definitely improved a lot. The job we’re doing on the setup to make the car better, more consistent but also understanding where we need to work and to change and to feel more performance in the car as well.
“It was a day that we changed so many things on the setup and it worked. The bits stay on the car so it’s positive.
“We didn’t have everything. We should have more pieces during these days. The car is not 100% complete. We’re still missing little bits, but most of them will be on the car.”