Despite the general belief that the Williams team needs to make the most of the final two European F1 rounds if it is to challenge for a win in 2014, Felipe Massa reckons that the FW36 can be a threat at most races between now and Abu Dhabi.
The Brazilian had to watch while team-mate Valtteri Bottas claimed three successive podium finishes between Austria and Germany, but has not given up hope of making his own appearance in the top three – his best result is currently the fourth place he took at the Red Rull Ring – even though the team has been told to 'capitalise' on its potential at Spa and Monza before taking the decision whether to continue developing or switch its attention to next season.
Heading into the Belgian Grand Prix, Massa lies an unrepresentative ninth overall after suffering the bulk of Williams' bad luck – including successive races where he failed to complete the opening lap through no fault of his own but harbours hopes of hunting down Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg ahead of him over the remaining eight races.
“I hope we can show good performance on the track at this race and Monza, but I would say that, at most of the races, we can be competitive,” he said, “Maybe Singapore will be the most difficult one but, at most of the tracks, I would say we can be up there, be competitive, and I hope we can show that.”
Williams' return to form has been one of the talking points of the 2014 F1 season, and Massa admits that he wants to see the story continue a little longer yet.
“We're still growing, still improving, like we did from the first race until now, and it would be good to have a very competitive car and a good race, [not only] here and at Monza, but also into the second part of the season,” he emphasised, “We're still fighting and we know how important the points are, so we're going to fight and do everything we can to be competitive.”
Bottas, meanwhile, will continue his quest for a top four championship spot when he resumes his campaign 20 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at Spa.