Mercedes untouchable, Massa looks to fight Ferrari

Williams Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil (R) congratulates Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain on his pole position after the qualifying session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 14, 2015.   REUTERS/Brandon Malone


(Reuters) – Felipe Massa will begin Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix proper in the back of the Mercedes automobiles but the Brazilian had few illusions about his Williams staff’s chances of winning the season opener.

1/3 fastest in qualifying, Massa’s easiest lap was nearly one-and-a-half seconds shy of Components One champion pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and virtually a second adrift of the Briton’s group mate Nico Rosberg.

On Condition That Williams are powered by Mercedes, Massa could handiest shrug and giggle when requested the awkward query as to the place the adaptation lay between the groups’ efficiency.

“If it can be the same engine, the difference must be in the automobile,” he said, elevating chuckles on the post-qualifying media conference.

“I Hope now we have the identical engine. I consider we’ve got the same engine. So it can be the auto!”

Massa’s group mate Valtteri Bottas certified sixth in the back of the Ferraris, however the Finn suffered again ache all through the periods and used to be taken to medical institution for exams.

Although Bottas may be unsure for the race, Williams performance boss Rob Smedley noticed promise of their displaying after an encouraging winter testing.

“Fairly comfortable with that. To get the primary one out of the best way and be in a reasonable place,” he mentioned.

“Felipe’s executed a great lap, he’s put it all collectively. And the good thing is there’s nonetheless margin there, he could have long past faster again. We had been simply studying in these conditions throughout the qualifying.

“We’re right here to win, But being reasonable that gap may be very giant to Mercedes. In Order That’s the one (the gap) I’m having a look at. What occurs behind is of pastime, however it’s of much less hobby.”

Ferrari, Massa’s former team, was once most advantageous within the Brazilian’s mind alternatively.

“We see the adaptation within the lap-instances between me, Sebastian (Vettel) and Kimi (Raikkonen) and in addition Valtteri, it can be beautiful small,” he stated.

“It will not be simple preventing with Ferrari But We’re there. We Are in reality having a look forward that both (our) vehicles can begin the season well.”

Crimson Bull were not in the same league, Massa brought.

Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified seventh, complained of reliability issues all day while Daniil Kvyat may manage simplest Thirteenth after a gearbox downside.

“I Think Crimson Bull is not in point of fact there for the moment,” Massa stated. “I’m sure Purple Bull will get there as a result of they’re actually sturdy.

“However for the second Ferrari is in point of fact strong and made a giant step forward compared to remaining year.”

(Modifying by way of Alan 1st Earl Baldwin Of Bewdley)

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