Felipe Massa admitted that the Williams team would have a lot of work to do heading into day two of the British Grand Prix weekend after failing to realise expected pace in Friday's free practice sessions.
The Brazilian veteran – who paddock insiders expect to leave the Grove team for 2017 – was tenth fastest in the second 90-minute session, but fully 2.2secs off the pace set by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and behind entries from both McLaren and Haas, which sandwiched Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas in P7.
While he insisted that he was not overly concerned at the presence of teams usually behind Williams in the pecking order, Massa admitted that he was perturbed by the FW38's inability to keep tabs on the front-running Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari cars on a circuit expected to favour it.
“It was not a fantastic Friday, to be honest,” Massa sighed, “I expected it to be a little bit better on pace compared to the other cars, so I hope we can improve for tomorrow because we are missing some pace compared to the top teams.
“I think the biggest concern is that we didn't show anything interesting in our pace today. I'm not comparing with McLaren or Haas but, comparing to the guys in front, they are massively quicker than us, so it is a little concern for this Friday and I hope we can improve tomorrow. I don't think there was anything really wrong, we were just not really on a good pace so we need to understand where to go because the pace was not so competitive today. It is a lot of work...”
Massa also admitted that there were no concrete improvements from a new front wing introduced for the event, although analysis was still ongoing after he switched between old and new designs throughout FP1, and the overnight work load only grew with signs of a hydraulic issue on the #19 machine.
“We didn't finish very well, and had a hydraulic issue just now, so I stopped because something was leaking, although I don't now what,” he confirmed, “At least it was at the end, so I managed to do some laps, using the tyres and trying the car with different tyres and different fuels. We are still analysing the front wing, so I…. At the beginning of [FP1], I had the old wing and then I went to the new one, then back to the old one, so there is a lot to analyse to be honest.”