- Belgian GP - Qualifying
Massa laments costly brake issues and traffic
Felipe Massa believes a combination of a brake problem and poorly timed traffic in Q3 cost him the chance of a top six finish in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Williams came into Belgium talking up its chances of a strong weekend at a Spa-Francorchamps circuit which appears to play to its strengths, but Valtteri Bottas and Massa could only manage sixth and ninth in qualifying. Massa thinks better was possible had he not run wide at the end of his fast lap, something he puts down to a number of poorly-timed factors.
"No, I don't think so," he said when asked if qualifying was another example of Williams fading in the rain, conditions which have not suited it this year. "To be honest the car was good today, we were competitive straight away in Q1 and Q2 doing good lap times. I had two problems today. First of all my brakes, my front right, was glazed during qualifying so I was struggling to brake through corner one, corner four and through the chicane at the end - I was struggling massively to stop the car there. I was braking a little before just not too fast, just not going too fast through, but it was still OK to do a reasonable lap.
"But then in Q3 I had a lot of traffic so I couldn't warm up the brakes in a good way, I couldn't warm up the tyres in a good way, so I started the lap not in a good shape and in the last sector I went off the track at corner 17, where I lost at a minimum half a second. I had a chance of starting nearer the front and I didn't because of this problem but I think the car feels OK in the wet. Anyway, we couldn't do the perfect lap we were supposed to do."
When asked whether that moment cost him the chance of outqualifying Bottas, Massa said: "For sure. I did straight away on the Q1 an 2:08.1 and the the track was better in Q3, then I did 2:09.1. So it was really that I couldn't put a lap together. It was possible to challenge the guys in front of us."