Massa perplexed by Williams' race deficit

Massa perplexed by Williams' race deficit

9 October 2017 – Felipe Massa says it is "difficult to understand" why Williams lacked race pace compared to its midfield rivals at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Massa qualified in eighth position at Suzuka and retained his position during the first stint, but fell away through the second stint, and came under pressure from both Haas drivers.

Massa was overhauled by Kevin Magnussen, while Romain Grosjean followed through, leaving him in 10th spot, which he managed to preserve, despite late pressure from Fernando Alonso.

"It was a very difficult race for us," said Massa.

"I was struggling with the degradation of the tyres with both sets.

"The other cars had better pace than us and it's difficult to understand why.

"At the end, I lost positions to both Haas in a move that was a little bit tricky, but they were much quicker than me anyway.

"If they didn't pass me there, I think they could have passed me afterwards with the pace difference.

"I'm not happy with the pace, but looking at the problems we had, we still finished in front of Renault and Toro Rosso, and one point is better than nothing."

Lance Stroll, meanwhile, was left to rue a challenging Grand Prix, which came to a premature conclusion when he suffered a puncture on the run to Turn 3.

"I had a really good start and was up to 11th, but then I made a mistake in Turn 11, hit Magnussen and I think something went on the car," he said.

"I had to box really early as I thought something was broken or I had a puncture.

"Then I had a long stint on the Soft tyre, working my way back up, but we were out of the points at that stage.

"I then felt there was something a bit strange at the front end, and then had a puncture.

"It is always surprising when you get a puncture, as it is very much unexpected and unfortunate at the same time!

"I was very close to [Daniel] Ricciardo when I came back on the circuit, but I managed to brake without anything happening."

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