Williams Martini Racing Team’s Felipe Massa got his first opportunity to drive the new FW38 in Barcelona on Wednesday as the Brazilian took over testing duties from team mate Valtteri Bottas.
Massa completed 109 laps setting the 10th fastest time overall with a 1m 26.712s concentrating his programme on familiarizing himself with the new car. Speaking about his day he commented:
Today was a good day doing 109 laps, and spending time trying to understand the FW38 for the first time. It is always nice to drive the car and understand areas that are better than the old one, but also keep working on understanding what there is to improve in terms of set-up. There is definitely a lot to do to get the car where we want it but I had a good feeling, and I am sure we are just at the beginning of many improvements. At the very end of the day, unfortunately I had to stop due to an issue in the power unit. We couldn’t finish the programme but we were very close, missing only the final few laps.
Massa will be back in the car on Thursday to conclude the opening winter test of 2016. Speaking following day 3 of on track action Williams Martini Racing’s Chief Test and Support Engineer Rod Nelson commented by saying:
It has been another productive day. It was good to have Felipe in the car. We are all still learning, as is he. Valtteri has been at track to give us a hand and the drivers have been chatting about their feelings and it has been pretty positive. We have essentially been doing a lot of reliability work today. We did a race simulation with Felipe which we are quite pleased with and now we are pushing on with more performance work to end a fairly solid day. We had to finish slightly early due to an inlet system issue which we are investigating to make sure we are ready to continue our programme on the final day of the test tomorrow.