Massa on top for Williams on damp final day

2014 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Williams, Jerez, 2014Felipe Massa finished his first test for Williams on a high by setting the fastest time on the final day of running.

Massa clocked a 1’28.226 to take the top spot on what was a damp day of testing. After limited running for many cars this week, the majority of teams managed to record a much greater number of laps over the course of the day.

But Red Bull’s miserable test concluded early following yet more technical issues, which limited Daniel Ricciardo to just seven laps in the morning.

Caterham too had only limited running earlier in the week, so they will have been pleased to achieved a healthy morning run with Kobayashi logging 54 laps in the damp conditions ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ albeit over six seconds off the ultimate pace.

After completing 97 laps on Wednesday, Nico Rosberg wasted no time in putting in a reasonable sequence of laps on the intermediate tyre, clocking a 1?σΤιΌΤδσ38.157 to be comfortably fastest at the end of the first hour.

Rosberg was joined by fellow Mercedes-engined drivers Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren and Felipe Massa?σΤιΌΤδσs Williams, who together provided the majority of the early running. But it was the Mercedes who seemed the most comfortable, with Rosberg running quicker and far longer than rest of the field, amassing a highly impressive 91 laps by lunchtime ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ double the mileage of any other driver – completing a race simulation on the way.

Just as the on-track action died down around the mid-way point of the day, Fernando Alonso took to the circuit and immediately delivered the quickest time of the day with a 1?σΤιΌΤδσ35.334 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ still on the intermediate tyres. A long run followed for the Ferrari, during which Alonso lapped closer to the Mercedes’ earlier pace.

While the rain had long since stopped, the cloud cover and cool temperatures meant that lap times began to improve ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ but not tumble ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ as the cars began their afternoon running. Force India?σΤιΌΤδσs reserve driver Daniel Juncadella took to the track and lowered the benchmark to a 1?σΤιΌΤδσ31.719 to make it an all-Mercedes engined top three

Following Rosberg?σΤιΌΤδσs productive morning run, Mercedes decided to hand the W05 over to Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon. Alonso rejoined the track in the F14 T and began to exchange fastest laps with Juncadella on a track that seemed to be getting quicker and quicker.

A largely red flag-free session was spoiled late in the day by a series of incidents. Adrian Sutil repeated his spin from yesterday but this time without hitting anything, going off backwards at the chicane.

Magnussen caused a pair of red flags, the first after a spin at the chicane and the second leading to contact with the barriers which damaged the front of the car. Elsewhere on the track at the same time Daniil Kvyat’s first day of action in the Toro Rosso ended with a technical fault after just seven laps.

In between the various interruptions Massa took advantage of the steadily improving track to put his Williams at the top of the times sheets. But with the track conditions still far from yesterday’s peak he was five seconds off the best seen this week.

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24 comments on Massa on top for Williams on damp final day

  1. ogamii (@ogamii) said on 31st January 2014, 16:57

    Come on Williams!! I would love to see them take some podiums this year.

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 31st January 2014, 16:59

    I imagine that Williams are very pleased with their decision to change to Mercedes power.

    • Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 31st January 2014, 17:01


      Yep, best engine choice for a long time for them.

      • obviously said on 31st January 2014, 17:37

        Yep, best engine choice for a long time for them.

        You better check which engine won 10 out of 16 championships that were to be won in the last V8 era.

        It’s Williams car that sucked big time, not a Renault engine. Renault engine was actually one of the key elements in Red Bull’s car design that Newey specifically asked for over Ferrari or Mercedes (and Toyota and Honda that were available back then).
        And than it was Renault that was the master of engine maps that enabled Red Bull to fulfill its potential.

        So I’d say, Renault engine was an excellent choice few years ago when they signed, but it’s just that Williams failed to deliver a good car. Perhaps in 2012 they even had a good car but their drivers failed to deliver.

        • while i agree that Renault worked well with redbull, they played key role in redbull’s championship wins, i believe in 2009 redbull was pushing to switch to mercedes engines, which was vetoed by Mclaren then.

  3. Williams confident of mercedes reliability, their weight achievements and their design at least 3 of the mercedes team seem well sorted, only a few woes with the brake-by-wire at least they know what to tackle.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 31st January 2014, 17:25

      Personally, I can’t think of anything worse than “brake by wire” no matter how sophisticated the electronics, not being able to feel the pressure in the system must be hugely frustrating for the drivers. I wonder why it is necessary, surely a sensor in the system could tell the ERS how much braking effort the driver wanted while still allowing the driver the re-assuring feel of a hydraulic system?

  4. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 31st January 2014, 17:05

    Williams have been impressive, and I’m not saying that just because Massa has rather trivially topped the times, but the car has looked well balanced out on track and reliable, most probably because of the Mercedes power pack. Couple that to Massa’s experience and technical expertise and Bottas’ brilliant speed, and you potentially have a good season in store for Williams. Saying that, we were saying this just twelve months, and look how that turned out, so potentially that might suggest Williams have a convention in running a little lighter than most in testing. However certainly, if Force India’s reliability doesn’t improve and if the Renault in the E22 doesn’t play ball, Williams could quite easily find itself as the closest team to the top teams. And yes, I have just written a whole paragraph of sheer speculation…!

  5. Darren Scully said on 31st January 2014, 17:27

    great to see Williams going well, but I am starting to notice a serious lack of sponsorship on a lot of cars, how are they all paying the bills and is this why we have so many pay drivers? Peter Windsor said in F1 before xmas that if Mclaren dont have a main sponsor at the start of the season then it is a very bad omen for the sport

    • dot_com (@dot_com) said on 31st January 2014, 17:33

      I think williams are on the verge of signin a big sponsor. So they say. Although it’s very early days, wouldn’t it be fantastic to see williams challenging for podiums this year?

    • quinnm said on 1st February 2014, 2:00

      Williams are only running this livery for testing. Expect something much different by Melbourne.

  6. Rui (@ruicaridade) said on 31st January 2014, 17:36

    The car with Martini sponsorship will look amazing.

  7. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 31st January 2014, 17:57

    Is that the actual livery for the Williams this year?

  8. Klaas (@klaas) said on 31st January 2014, 18:43

    Ha, told you Massa will win the WDC this year.

  9. Danilo said on 31st January 2014, 19:29

    This is the Massa of 2008 season?

  10. Win7Golf (@win7golf) said on 1st February 2014, 16:48

    no times here? I wanted to save (in PDF) the report as I did for the other days :)

  11. Bruno said on 1st February 2014, 20:27

    So happy that Massa have shown an amazing job, of course, with the competence of Williams! Interlagos will be an amazing race this year!

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