Felipe Massa expects Williams to battle with Red Bull and Toro Rosso at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, behind the leading cars of Mercedes and Ferrari.
Williams finished third in the constructors’ championship during the past two seasons, but their ‘best-of-the-rest’ status is no longer guaranteed due to sterner challenge from rivals.
Asked if Australia, where Massa finished fifth behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, was a good indicator of Williams’ position in the pecking order, the Brazilian said ‘’it was more or less where we expected to be.’’
The 34-year old, however, expects to put on a stronger fight this weekend, believing the Sakhir circuit will suit his car better than Melbourne.
“It’s true that Red Bull was quite strong in the [Australian] race and even the Toro Rosso; they were pretty strong. It was quite a big fight with them, including qualifying.
“I really hope here we can be in front. I hope we can be more competitive on this track, because we know that we are going to have a big fight with these two teams and maybe some other teams as well.”
“I think we saw that Mercedes and Ferrari they were pretty strong, as expected. I hope this track can be better for us.”
Massa also praised the layout of the Bahrain International Circuit, a track where he has been victorious twice during his Ferrari tenure.
“Well, it’s a very nice track. I like to drive here. You have some nice corners but also some very tricky corners that you need a good car in terms of braking, in terms of traction as well. But it’s a nice track.”
“I had some good races. Always when you have good races on a type of track, you enjoy, so this is what I’m looking forward to have another one on Sunday,’’ he added.
by Rachit Thukral