2017 regulations suit Massa ‘perfectly’

Date published: March 10 2017

Williams performance chief Rob Smedley believes the new aerodynamic regulations for 2017 are a perfect match for Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian, who came out of a very short-lived retirement when Valtteri Bottas departed for Mercedes, has caught the eye in pre-season and was even top of the timesheets during the second test.

And Smedley reckons that Massa, along with the new rules, can help spark a Williams revival in what looks like a very intriguing midfield battle.

"I think it suits his driving style perfectly really," explained Smedley. "The cars that we have got now are much more akin to the cars when he had his more successful years.

"So [like] a 2008 car, with a very wide front tyre, very, very good grip all the way from turn-in up to the apex. We've been definitely missing that for the last seven years, and he struggled a little bit with that."

He then added:  "The more front end you can give Felipe, as long as you have a solid rear, then the more he will be able to deliver from his driving style. And from what we have seen at the minute, he's very very comfortable.

"I think with Felipe, you always know if you are on to a winner with the amount of mistakes he makes the first time he gets into a new car.

"I think that over the course of however many thousand kilometres he has done over the past few days, he has perhaps run wide twice and has made hardly any mistakes on new tyres. So he is obviously extremely comfortable with the car.

"When we put a different compound on, when we perhaps increase the engine or reduce the fuel level to a lower level, he delivers exactly what you expect him to do. It show that ultimately he is very, very comfortable."