The Williams Martini Racing team has confirmed that a rear wing stall was the cause of Felipe Massa’s accident in Friday’s second free practice session for the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The Brazilian’s car snapped sideways under braking for the Turn 14 hairpin and nosed into the barriers midway through the Friday afternoon session, bringing the veteran’s session to an early end.

“The first session went to plan, but this afternoon we had a few issues with the rear wing,” Massa reported at the end of the day.

“Under braking I lost all grip in the rear tyres and the car spun which put me out for the rest of the session.”

The session was briefly red-flagged while his FW37 was craned away, while the team quickly set about tweaking teammate Valtteri Bottas’ rear wing to ensure there was no repeat incident.

The Finn endured no troubles and ended seventh-fastest in FP2, and after an off-the-pace showing in Malaysia, he was confident that the team had made further gains.

“The updates we brought have worked, so we are a little quicker through the corners,” he said.

“The temperature here suits us better than in Malaysia, so I think we can be strong in qualifying but we need to make sure we focus on the race and especially on the front-left tyre graining.”

Image via Williams Martini Racing / LAT

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Geoff Burke

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