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.
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.”
Williams has finally confirmed the arrival of Felipe Massa’s long time Ferrari race engineer, Rob Smedley.
He will take up the newly created role of head of vehicle performance.
Williams says that he will “strengthen the trackside team whilst also supporting the development work back at the factory to help bring more performance to the car throughout the season.”
Susie Wolff will run two FP1 sessions for Williams this season in her ongoing role as a development driver, the team has confirmed.
She’ll be the first female driver to take part in official track action on a Grand Prix weekend since Giovanna Amati tried to qualify for three races with Brabham in 1992.