Badger went to hear what Felipe Massa had to say after his 119 lap day in the FW38, which saw him finish second on the time sheets in Barcelona, Test 2, Day 3.
On how today has been:
“I think it was good, maybe the best day I’ve had until now. We didn’t have an amazing week last week but this week is going well. It was quite good for Valtteri, and today was a very good day for me to understand the car, that’s the most important thing, and managed to understand the car in the best way compared to last week.
Changing set-up, the behaviour of the car and the feeling of the car was positive. Also trying out the programme we did – especially long runs – I think the car behaved well, but also in the short runs I could have done a slightly better lap time, because I had traffic on my ultrasoft tyres.
But I think it was positive. I am happy with the car and I hope I can be happy tomorrow as well. I hope we can be 100 percent ready to start the season.”
On where Williams are compared to the other teams:
“Where we are is difficult to say, but I think we can be competitive. We know Mercedes are in front, maybe Ferrari is there, but there can be many other teams with a small difference in terms of lap time,. I hope we can be in there with a good fight, and we will know in the first race anyway.”
On tyre degradation and graining:
“The soft tyres are quite soft for this track, so maybe it’s a track where in the race you’re going to use more medium or even hard, so yes, we have graining on the front.
We have amazing graining with the supersoft and the ultrasoft, which is too soft for this track. I don’t think we need to worry about that so much, just to understand the car and everything you have around for the start of the season.”
On the ultrasoft compound tyre:
“It won’t be a tyre that will survive a lot, but it will be part of the game and we need to understand how to use it at the right moment. For sure it will be a quicker tyre on this type of track.”
On the qualifying regulation changes:
“It can be interesting for the people at home, but I don’t think it will be for us, especially if you are a team who’s not one second in front of everybody. Mercedes are so ahead like they are last year that it will just be better for them. They can even qualify with the hard tyres, and start the races on the hard tyres, and still they’ll disappear!
I think that for the teams that are fighting for one or two tenths, you will not even go to Q3. It’s a lot more difficult, and I’m not sure that I prefer that. If it’s okay for the show, then fine. It is important that people enjoy it, but if people don’t enjoy it, it’s not fine!”
On the prototype “halo” driver protection seen today:
“It’s not so nice, for sure. Safety is the most important thing and I totally agree with the halo, or closed cockpits, or whatever, but it doesn’t look very nice to be honest. We’ll see how it will be – if it’s good for safety, then fine.”