Felipe Massa says he is “100% certain” Williams’ poor form during last Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix will not repeat itself in the future, after he and team-mate Valtteri Bottas only managed 12th and 13th at Budapest.
Coming off a very strong performance on home soil at Silverstone, the British squad endured its toughest race weekend since last May’s Monaco Grand Prix, another twisty venue that shares similarities with the Hungaroring.
“I am 100% certain it was a one off,” said Massa. “What happened Sunday was a hard race. We were very strong in the last one fighting for the podium and the first place, so we need to understand what happened because we have another slow circuit which is Singapore.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) July 26, 2015
“But we will have many good tracks for us, so it is not a problem. I am sure we will be back on our pace, which will be good for us.”
Although Massa had a smoother ride than Bottas during an action-packed race, the Brazilian veteran was equally baffled by Williams’ overall lack of performance.
“The pace was really, really bad and I don’t know why. Behind the traffic, with the prime tyres, I couldn’t drive at all missing overall grip in the car. Then the best stint was maybe the last one with the option tyres but even with that I was not quick.”
“It was disappointing to see that we were not on the pace. If [Red Bull] are on the podium it is because they deserve it and did a good job. We are not in the podium because our pace was not there.”
“I think something was not making the tyres work in the race, maybe the temperatures I don’t know, we were out of the range.”
Fernando Alonso described his fifth place as “a little present” for McLaren in an “unbelievable” Hungarian Grand Prix.
McLaren looked more competitive at the Hungaroring throughout the weekend but was hit by reliability issues in qualifying and Alonso started in 15th place on the grid. Having kept out of trouble in a race full of collisions and incidents, Alonso was promoted to fifth in the closing laps when Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg collided, and he says McLaren took full advantage of the dramatic race.
“Unbelievable,” Alonso said. “I think the race was very good for us. Obviously fifth is a little present for us because at the moment we are not super competitive. So the race was a little bit chaotic in some parts of it and we took advantage of what came to us and we maximised the result.
“Monaco, Hungary, Singapore are circuits that are a little bit better for our performance and our car. In these cases we need to take that opportunity.”
When asked if the result acts as a motivator for the rest of the season, Alonso replied: “Definitely.
“Not much for us but for the whole team. People are working back at the factory 24 hours a day just to keep updating the car and to get some results, to touch some points, this is a good way to go in to the break. In the second half of the season we need to maximise the performance, to reach our level because we need to get some good preparation for next year.”
Daniil Kvyat achieved his best F1 result to date and scored his first F1 podium with a second place finish in today’s action packed Hungarian Grand Prix.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 26, 2015
The Red Bull youngster put in a strong drive all afternoon, only hampered by a non-consequential 10 second penalty which was added to his race time for exceeding track limits when overtaking Lewis Hamilton.
Although team mate Ricciardo was the stronger of the two Red Bulls, the Russian retained an advantage over the Australian as the latter fought handling problems after a contact with Rosberg.
“After the safety car restart, there was an open fight for the podium between all of us,” Kvyat said. “But to be honest I have to give credit to Daniel as I think he had a better chance for victory this weekend than I did. He did the right thing to go for it.”
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Still, Daniil’s result demonstrated his still burgeoning talent and his faculty to make the most of any opportunities which may swing his way.
“It’s hard to describe what I feel today. Today I learned never to give up whatever happens – others were fighting around me and I found myself in second. This weekend I have been able to take every opportunity, and that’s why I’m here now.”