Massa: Williams has lost straight-line advantage
Felipe Massa says Williams has lost the straight-line speed advantage it had over the field last year and is worried it could be costly in the fight against Ferrari in 2015.
Ferrari showed a major step forward over the winter and beat Williams to the final spot on the podium in Australia. There was little to choose between the two teams over qualifying and the race but Massa is concerned Williams has lost a major strength it had last year.
"I think the only that we see is that we don't have an advantage on the straight any more," Massa said. "The only thing that Ferrari shows that they have improved massively is the engine, they have a much better system, a much better engine compared to last year, so last year we had a car that we were losing in the corners, we had less downforce than Ferrari, but we were gaining on the straights.
"For sure, this year the car is much better in terms of downforce and better in the corners, so we already finish in a good way, but how we start we are losing massively. We were compensating the speed we were gaining on the straight, but this time we don't have this difference on the straight anymore. We need to work as strong as we can because we are fighting with a top team that has a big possibility financially to develop the car. I am really thinking we can do it though."
Massa thinks the result could have been different for Williams had Valtteri Bottas not been side-lined on the morning of the race with back trouble.
"Yes, having two cars!" Massa said about the key to beating Sebastian Vettel to the podium in the opening race. "The only thing that was not nice was to leave the pits and to get Ricciardo in front in the place where I didn't have DRS to pass him. I think that was the only thing that put me behind Sebastian, so without the problem I would have been in front. He had a little bit extra but I don't know how easy it would have been to pass me on the track."