• Chinese GP

Bad luck ruining Williams' potential - Massa

ESPN Staff
April 20, 2014 « Vettel will bounce back stronger - Ricciardo | Chequered flag error knocks two laps off Chinese GP »
Felipe Massa was momentarily airborne at the start after contact with Fernando Alonso © Getty Images

Felipe Massa insists back luck has robbed Williams the chance to live up to its pre-season potential after a botched pit stop ruined his race in China.

Massa made a good start but his race fell apart at the first pit stop on lap 11, with Williams mixing up his right and left rear tyres before being unable to attach them, meaning he emerged from the pit lane in last having gone in 5th. After an incident with Kamui Kobayashi in Australia and the safety car period in Bahrain, Massa is ruing his luck after seeing lightning strike for a third time.

"I'm disappointed that so many things have happened to me. At the first race another car pushed me out at the first corner and then what has happened today. It's a lot of points that we lost. Even in the last race I was third and then we had the safety car and I went back to eighth. So many things happen every race that we lose points, I'm not happy that it keeps happening to me all the time."

Williams is currently sixth in the standings but has shown top-ten competitiveness in every race so far, meaning its tally of 36 points has been a rather disappointing return. The team entered the season with high hopes and Massa is convinced Williams should be battling Force India for third in the standings.

"We lost all the opportunities we had today on the pit stop, I lost everything I had to fight," he said. "I don't know how many seconds I was there but I came back on the track last and there was nothing really to do. Ferrari had the better car than us here, but not in Bahrain. The track was better for them.

"So did Red Bull compared to Bahrain. We were stronger than both in the last race but we didn't have the car to fight with them today, but had the pace to finish in front of Force India. The Force India is third [in the cosntructors'] and we could have beaten them.

"We need to score more points as it was a race where we could have caught and passed McLaren as well. It's something we need to work on and try and start scoring more consistent points."

At the start Massa seemed to go into a gap not big enough for his Williams, making contact with Fernando Alonso, but he insists it was the only place he could put his car after jumping Nico Rosberg off the line.

"In my opinion Fernando did not see me and he hit my car. The stewards didn't do anything on that or on Rosberg, because he hit Valtteri as well. It was the only way I had to try to pass them. I had a very good start, I beat Rosberg on the right and the Red Bull pushed me over to the side, so the only way is to go to the left."

Williams' new head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley says he takes responsibility for the mistake.

"There's areas we need to improve, there's no doubt about it," Smedley said. "It's clear, I'm not going to say hide behind that and say there isn't and that it's all fantastic when it's clearly not. That's what I'm here to do, to help the other senior engineers and middle-management structure if you like, create a much slicker, better operation.

"Whenever you have an issue it's not down to any one individual. When I spoke to the guys, all the guys during the race, even the guys who brought the wheels out at the pit stop I say if you want to blame anyone, blame me, because that is what I'm paid to do. I take that shit on my shoulders, that's my position in the team."

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