In what was a positive start to the Williams Martini teams 2017 pre-season testing Felipe Massa would finish the day in 3rd. It was a straightforward day as the team got down to learning about the new FW40. The team was able to run through a range of test covering long and short runs, comparing tyre compounds, and Felipe was able to complete over 100 laps. But what with the new regulations and tyres there is still a huge amount of work to get through.
27:02:2017 Day One
Chassis / Engine: FW40-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Weather: Warm and Dry
Maximum air & track temps: 21ºC / 26ºC
For the Williams Martini team the opening day of pre-season testing would see
Felipe Massa take the 2017 FW40 onto the track for the first time. In 2016
the quickest test time was set by Raikkonen with a 1m:22.765, so one would
expect this to be beaten by a considerable margin. The lap record is a
1m:21.6 set in 2008 so it will be interesting to see how the times compare
With the start of the morning session Felipe would take to the track early
with the FW40 running a T wing like the Mercedes. Felipe would be on the
medium tyre for his installation run. He would return without setting a
time. The first time would be a 1m:33.445 from Bottas in the Mercedes.
Felipe would return for another single untimed lap. The times would start to
come down with Bottas and Vettel swapping quickest times. Vettel would be
quickest with a 1m:23.560 while his time from the same session last year was
a 1m:24.9 such is the impressive pace from the new 2017 cars.
The rear shark fin and the T-wing were seen to be moving on the new FW40,
not what was expected. Felipe would return to the track still on the medium
tyre and would set a 1m:27.913 to be third fastest. He would improve with a
1m:27.299 having completed just five laps. Felipe would continue with his
laps setting a 1m:26.525 to now be fourth behind Perez. After ten laps
completed Felipe would pit. Felipe would drop to fifth to be behind
Hulkenberg as he returned to the track with Bottas now quickest with a
1m:23.370. Felipe would also improve with a 1m:25.956 to be third fastest
having completed seventeen laps, still on the medium tyre. Bottas would be
the first driver to run on the soft tyre.
Perez would move up to third using the soft tyre while at the front it would
be Vettel and Bottas who would continue to set the quickest times. Vettel
would go quickest, running on the medium tyre, with a 1m:22.791 while Bottas
had set a 1m:23.169 on the soft tyre. Felipe would continue to put laps in
on the medium tyre and would set a 1m:25.879 remaining fourth. Felipe would
pit again having completed twenty four laps. With thirty minutes prior to
the lunch break Felipe would return to the track still on the medium tyre.
Felipe would continue to improve lowering his lap times with a 1m:25.734 and
then a 1m:25.552. Felipe would pit briefly having completed thirty one laps.
With the lunch break Felipe would pit with thirty nine laps completed.
With the start of the afternoon session it would not be until after thirty
minutes in the session before Felipe would return to the track. Felipe had
dropped to be sixth behind Hamilton, who had replaced Bottas for the
afternoon running. But this time Felipe would be on the soft tyre and would
immediately improve with a 1m:23.451 to be just 0.3 behind the time of
Bottas, 1m:23.169. Felipe was able to set a quicker lap with a 1m:23.269 to
be just 0.1 behind Bottas. Felipe would pit after a short run leaving the
track empty. He would return and was able to set a 1m:23.025 to be second
behind Vettel prior to pitting. On his next run Felipe would set a 1m:22.727
to go quickest, encouraging for the Williams team with just over two hours
remaining in the day.
Felipe would be able to lower his quickest time with a 1m:22.536 but as the
afternoon progressed the times continued to fall. Felipe would set a
1m:22.079 but he was now third behind Hamilton and Vettel. Hamilton had set
a new quickest time of 1m:21.765 running on the soft tyre. Vettel was second
and was the first to complete 100 laps. Felipe would pit but would return on
a new set of soft's and would commence what was a longer run. Felipe would
also complete 100 laps and would finish the day with 103 laps in total. It
was an encouraging start to the pre-season testing for the Williams Martini
Rod Nelson, Chief Test & Support Engineer:
It was a very good day. It was a fillip for the guys who have been working
on the car. We had a very straightforward day, particularly in the
afternoon. We did some pretty good tests – short runs, long runs, compared
the soft and medium tyres. We are still getting to know the FW40, so it is
an interesting time of year and it is looking pretty reasonable at the
moment. There is a massive amount to do, particularly this year with the
huge regulation changes. The tyres are going to take a lot of time getting
to learn with the different compounds and sizes. There is a good chunk more
downforce on the car. It’s a change for the drivers as their driving
technique is quite different with this amount of grip, and the way we look
after the car is different too, however the winter preparation seems to be
Today was a good day. The first day of the test is always one where you hope
everything on the car works well and that it’s reliable, and with 103 laps
on the board I’d say that wasn’t bad at all. In the morning, we made a few
set-up changes and checks so we knew that everything on the car was working
in the right way. There was some waiting around whilst that was done
thoroughly. That said, the lap count racked up in the afternoon after all
those initial checks and changes were carried out. It’s early to say where
we are whilst we’re still in this learning stage, but I’m really enjoying
driving. There’s much more grip and they go much quicker in the corners. We
can brake much later and reach high speeds much quicker. Overall, it was a
great first day which is really positive for the whole team. We completed
more than 100 laps and I really hope we learn new things day by day and
prepare ourselves as best as we can for the first race in Australia.
Williams Martini Racing returns to track tomorrow with Lance Stroll at the
wheel of the FW40 for the first time.
Driver Team Time Laps
1. L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.765 73
2. S. Vettel Ferrari 1:21.878 126
3. F. Massa WILLIAMS MARTINI 1:22.076 103
4. K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 1:22.894 51
5. D. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:22.926 50
6. V. Bottas Mercedes 1:23.169 79
7. S. Perez Force India F1 Team 1:23.709 39
8. C. Sainz Toro Rosso 1:24.494 51
9. N. Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team 1:24.784 57
10. F. Alonso McLaren 1:24.852 29
11. M. Ericsson Sauber F1 Team 1:26.841 72
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