Felipe Massa has paid tribute to his Williams team after recovering a significant portion of their lost mileage with an eye-catching turn on the first day of the second F1 pre-season test.

The Brazilian had only managed a single day in the FW40 after two crashes for Lance Stroll lost Williams almost two days of track time to make necessary repairs, leaving him with only limited opportunity to get acquainted with the revised machine.

Nevertheless, the 11-time race winner's experience told as he hit the ground running on the fifth of eight testing days, completing a mammoth 168 laps and setting the fastest time of the day with a 1min 19.726s.

Praising the team for getting the car fixed and ensuring it was reliable after relatively little track time, Massa says he was 'happy with everything' he saw today.

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"To do 168 laps is definitely fantastic. First of all for the job that the team have done, the reliability, also for us to understand anything about the car, the set-up, the tyres. From the short run, from the long run.

"I did a race distance this afternoon so I am so happy for the day, because I remember I did another day with 168 laps in my career here, so it's definitely a positive. I think we will see where we are in Australia but it's always nice to finish a day so positive like today."

Impressed by the raw pace of the Williams FW40, though Massa laughs off the suggestion the team could cause an upset in 2017, he is already anticipating podiums.

"I don't think we are in the same level as Mercedes. But I think if we can fight, and have a great fight and maybe fighting for podiums it's definitely a great night. We need to wait and see in Australia."

 

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