Top five still realistic for Williams - Massa
Felipe Massa believes Williams is still one of the fastest teams on the grid, but he also admits the team no longer enjoys the big advantage over the rest of the field it once did.
Massa and Williams did not trouble the top of the timesheets in either Friday practice session but the team seemed more focussed on completing longer runs, with Valtteri Bottas accumulating the most laps in FP2. Massa admits the field has opened up a lot more than it did before the season opener in Australia but he still feels one of the first three rows of the grid is a realistic expectation for Saturday.
"I'm not surprised," he said, when asked about the pace showed by Ferrari and Red Bull. "I'm sure they both have a good car and will be there fighting. We saw a good lap from Vettel so maybe he can be there fighting and we will be up there with him. I don't know, I hope we can qualify in the top five. After that the race is the race and everything can happen. There are other teams to beat and I hope we will be able to be in front. It won't be easy, it will be difficult. I think we have more to show than we are currently. I think that's the same for Mercedes also, but there will be a big fight between many teams so it is important we will be there."
Massa is expecting to struggle with tyres throughout the weekend and he believes Sunday could be a race which is swung more by who has the better strategy than who has the fastest car.
"I think degradation is high so normally the race is closer to the end of the day but today will be big for degradation. It will be a fight between two or three stops depending on how much better the race track is to now."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Products you might like at espnshop.co.uk