Felipe Massa says that the Malaysian GP team orders saga was “a mistake” by Williams – and insists that the team supports his opinion.
Massa insists that it had not been discussed in advance.
Williams driver Felipe Massa is standing by his decision to ignore team orders to let teammate Valtteri Bottas pass him in the closing stages of Sunday’s Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix, saying the team should recognize he has his own interests to pursue in the drivers’ championship.
Massa was repeatedly told to let Bottas past to enable the Finn to chase the McLaren of Jenson Button, but Massa refused to make way, and finished seventh and Bottas eighth, with Button holding on for sixth.
Toto Wolff is not underestimating the opposition, and the Mercedes boss says both Williams and Red Bull could have been more competitive in Australia
Wolff suggested that Red Bull would have been more of a threat had Sebastian Vettel not had a troubled weekend.
“If you see where they [RBR] were two weeks ago, we need to be very careful,” said Wolff. “We haven’t seen Sebastian running with a reliable car and a fast car, and you would expect him, with his experience, to go even faster. So we have to keep on pushing.”
While his Williams team mate Felipe Massa was out at the first corner, Valterri Bottas was one of the few drivers who could overtake in Australia, and he finished fifth despite losing time when he clipped the wall early on.
“I guess if you look at Valtteri’s pace before he hit the wall, and then I think his steering wheel was not completely straight, and then his pace afterwards, I would say if they have a normal race and they qualify better than here, probably they would have ended up on the podium. I’m quite sure they would have ended up on the podium.”
Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez will both take five-place grid penalties in Australia after being forced to change their gearboxes.
All teams put their race gearboxes in for today, and both drivers suffered problems almost immediately having recorded only two laps apiece. Their teams have confirmed that they will need a change.
Under the 2014 rules, gearboxes are supposed to complete six consecutive Saturday/Sundays. Gearbox use remains free on Fridays.
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in Friday’s opening practice for the Australian Grand Prix, while pre-race favorite Lewis Hamilton was one of several drivers to strike trouble as entire field struggled to master their all-new engines and radically redesigned cars ahead of the Formula 1 season opener.
Hamilton was unable to complete a single lap after his Mercedes engine automatically shut down due to an oil pressure alarm on his first tour of the Albert Park circuit. With repairs to the complex V6 turbo hybrid engines taking much longer than last year’s powertrains, Hamilton was unable to emerge in the next 90 minutes.