Smedley: Massa suffered an electrical issue

Date published: October 4 2016 - Editor

At the start of the formation lap before the Malaysian Grand Prix, Williams driver Felipe Massa couldn't get his car working  due to an electronics glitch, head of Williams performance Rob Smedley revealed.

The incident caused the Brazilian to start from the pitlane after he qualified P10 before the day before.

Despite the Grove-based mechanics fixing the issue and getting his car back out on the Sepang International Circuit, the Brazilian's last ever Malaysian Grand Prix suffered yet another mishap after he punctured his front left tyre four laps later.

"It was an electronics issue surrounding the torque map on the car, which then defaulted to turn the car off on the grid," Smedley said.

"We then had to push it in the pit lane and get the car started, which we could do after power-cycling it.

"It was not ideal, the in-lap with that puncture cost [Felipe] a lot of time and then we had a slow pit stop because of the puncture. From that point, we converted his race into an effective one-stop.

"Both things put him completely out of contention. With the pace in the car, if he had not had that second incident, he probably would have been 30 seconds up the road, which was just on the back end of the points.

"Even starting from the pit lane, the car was good enough to get a point, something like that, which would have made a difference to us."

Massa ended the race P13, while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished in a respectable P5.