Williams have found that a technical issue with their new rear wing was to blame for Felipe Massa”s spectacular accident in the first free practice session on Friday. The Brazilian crashed into the barriers at turn 1 after he lost control of his car under braking.
Felipe Massa suffered a horrific incident in FP1 when he wanted to brake into the first corner. The 35-year-old driver got out of his car unscathed after a fairly big shunt.
“FP1 was a little bit fraught with what happened on Felipe’s car. The DRS didn’t close under braking,” said Williams performance engineer Rob Smedley.
The Briton said that the cause was the “lack of rear downforce under braking and he (Massa) spun causing quite a lot of damage.”
Williams managed to build the car for Felipe for the second practice session, but left the Brazilian without the new parts. The team did not have any spares for the new rear suspension components, forcing them to revert Massa's car to the specification used at Monaco. Additionally, the new rear wing was shelved to allow further investigation back at the team's factory, before deciding if a structural flaw was to blame for the failure.
Still, on Saturday, Massa proved happy with his performance in qualifying, coming to within a tenth of team mate Valtteri Bottas, who still had the new rear suspension at his disposal.
“It was a very competitive qualifying session, which meant we were fighting with every team for a very small gap.”
“With the car I had today, I did a very good job and I’m really happy with my lap. If I had a similar car to Valtteri, I’d have done an ever better job.”
“All in all, I’m pleased with the lap I did and my overall qualifying result, considering my accident yesterday.”
Massa will start today’s race in eights place while his team-mate Bottas in seventh.