‘Big chance’ Mercedes will cruise to third title – Massa

Feb.25 (GMM) Felipe Massa is not sure F1 fans should expect Mercedes to be toppled from its back-to-back title-winning perch in 2016.

As the Brazilian got his first taste of Williams’ new FW38 on Wednesday, he declared that it felt “better” than its predecessor, which finished third overall behind Mercedes and Ferrari last year.

“It feels better than last year’s,” Massa told Globo Esporte, “but I don’t know if it will be enough to be faster than Ferrari and Mercedes.

“I hope we can fight this year with Ferrari,” he added. “With Mercedes? I don’t know. They are very strong.

“There is a big chance we will see another championship with one team only,” said Massa.

Beginning his 14th race season in F1 this year, Massa said he is basing his comments on having watched first-hand the behaviour of Mercedes’ new car from beside the Barcelona track.

“I was in the circuit yesterday and saw how competitive their car is,” he said.

“It’s fast, it does not slide at the front or the back, the wheels do not lock under braking — there is nothing wrong. It seems to be very easy to drive,” added Massa.

Massa’s countryman Felipe Nasr, who drives for Sauber, agrees with his fellow Brazilian.

“I was watching the cars in the middle of the track yesterday and at a certain moment (Sebastian) Vettel and the Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton) were close together,” he said. “The Mercedes overtook the Ferrari and disappeared.

“I don’t know what fuel they had, but they had the same medium tyres,” he added, before predicting a third-consecutive title for Mercedes this year.

And those predictions are coming even before Mercedes has completed the specification of its ominous new car, let alone tried the new ‘ultra soft’ tyre.

“We will not have this (softest) tyre at this test,” Nico Rosberg revealed, “because we didn’t order them from Pirelli.”

The German admitted: “We haven’t shown our cards yet. We’re still holding back — but for sure the car is quick.”

World champion Hamilton confirmed that Mercedes’ reluctance to hit full throttle with all of its 2016 parts is an effort to surprise its rivals.

“Here (at the first test), you try to show as little as possible so that nobody has time to copy what you’ve done,” he said.

Related News

  • 19/11/2015 Massa hopes for Mercedes engine parity in 2016 Nov.19 (GMM) Felipe Massa is hoping Williams will get back on par with its engine supplier Mercedes in 2016. While dominant Mercedes and its customer teams are believed to have enjoyed […]
  • 23/03/2017 Massa confirms Williams ‘competitive’ Mar.23 (GMM) Felipe Massa has confirmed the paddock perception that Williams looks set to be 'best of the rest' behind F1's top three teams early in 2017. Many observers believe that […]
  • 14/05/2015 Massa wants more test freedom in F1 May 14 (GMM) Felipe Massa would prefer if teams were given more freedom to decide their in-season testing plans. For cost reasons, there are now only two official group tests within the […]
  • 13/12/2016 Massa not Brazilian motor sport saviour Dec.13 (GMM) Felipe Massa has ruled out going it alone to put Brazil back on track for a healthy future in F1. With the former Ferrari and Williams driver now retiring, it seems the only […]
  • 30/11/2016 Massa in talks to be F1 television pundit Nov.30 (GMM) Felipe Massa has revealed that he should still be a familiar face in the F1 paddock next year. Brazil's UOL Esporte claims the Brazilian is set to sign up as a regular […]
  • 21/09/2016 Massa ‘surprised’ by retirement reaction Sep.21 (GMM) Felipe Massa says he has been heartened by the reaction to his decision to retire from F1 at the end of the year. The 35-year-old Brazilian made his debut in 2002 and won 11 […]
  • 01/03/2016 Nasr admits points will be difficult in 2016 Mar.1 (GMM) Sauber is targeting the midfield in 2016. Last year, the Swiss team finished a lowly eighth in the constructors' championship, and late on Monday it became the last team to […]
  • 23/05/2017 Massa hails Lowe’s impact at Williams May 23 (GMM) Felipe Massa has hailed Paddy Lowe for a noticeable turnaround inside the Williams team. Brazilian Massa has driven for the famous British team since leaving Ferrari, but he […]
  • 20/07/2015 Williams signs Massa for 2016 season – report Jul.20 (GMM) Williams has taken up its contract 'option' on Felipe Massa for the 2016 season. That is the claim of Diario Motorsport, a specialist Portuguese publication that in 2013 […]
  • 14/05/2015 Nasr says no Sauber upgrades yet May 14 (GMM) Felipe Nasr is expecting Sauber to suffer at the next few races. Early in 2015, the Brazilian rookie emerged as a potential star of the future, finishing fifth in Australia […]