Felipe Massa, Williams, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Williams need dry weather to be competitive

2014 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Williams, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Rain during qualifying left the Williams team frustrated as they were unable to exploit their car’s dry weather performance.

Both drivers failed to reach Q3 in the second rain-hit qualifying session out of two so far this season.

“The car is clearly struggling in wet conditions compared to the competitive pace it has been showing in the dry,” said chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson, “so this is something we will be analysing closely”.

“The conditions here in Malaysia are so changeable that we will have to prepare for the possibility of rain again tomorrow, but obviously drier conditions will be beneficial in allowing us to make our way through the pack in a similar vein to what we managed to do in Australia.”

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa switched between the different types of tyre on offer in Q2 as they tried to improve their times.

“In Q2 Valtteri was keen to start on intermediates and Felipe felt that the wet tyre would be the best choice,” said Nelson.

“They were both reporting a lack of grip and rear instability as the rain continued to fall, and switched tyres to try and improve but were not able to find the sort of lap time needed to progress into Q3.”

“In dry conditions we are normally fighting for a top six position and the car feels good,” said Massa, “but when it is wet the car lacks grip and can feel unstable with lots of sliding which is something we need to address”.

“It’s a shame as this qualifying result is not really reflective of where we should be.”

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Image © Williams/LAT