Williams’ mistake in not sending Felipe Massa to the track in time to complete a final run for Q1 will prove costly in the battle for third position, reckons Felipe Massa.

Massa had only completed one lap late in the session which was compromised with traffic when he returned to the pits for another set of tyres.

The end result saw the Brazilian spend too much time in the pits and was unable to complete another lap to get himself out of the elimination zone, which means he will start tomorrow’s race in 18th position.

“The plan was to do one run, we could pass with one run but I didn’t have a clean lap,” Massa said.

“If I had a clean lap I would have lost three or four tenths on my lap. So four-tenths quicker I would have passed, easy.

“In Australia, I went out and I didn’t have a clean lap or a good lap straight away, so I needed to use another set of tyres, I passed and I qualified in the top six.

“So you cannot risk yourself completely in Q1 because maybe you miss the chance to qualify in the top ten or in the top six or in the top five because you’re just trying to be too relaxed for Q1.”

But the effect Massa’s grid position will have on the championship will make it harder to fight Red Bull Racing for third in the constructors.

“We know the car they [Red Bull] have. We know that this is a very good track for them and in Monaco maybe it will be the best track for them,” he continued.

“So we can compare which car they have. It’s not a surprise to be honest, we know that Red Bull is much stronger this year and we know that maybe Russia was not the track for them, but there will be many many tracks for them. This is one of the top tracks for Red Bull.

With an engine upgrade for Red Bull scheduled for Canada in two races time, the task for Williams becomes more difficult.

“We know the car they have on the floor, so if they have a better engine for sure it will be an upgrade, maybe even a big one! We don’t know how much they will improve, for sure they will have a much more competitive car.”

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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