Felipe Massa called for his Williams team to investigate the disastrous pit stop which cost him a chance of a strong finish in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, won by Lewis Hamilton.
Massa got a flying start off the grid but he banged wheels with eventual third-place finisher and his former Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso before turn one.
From being sixth at the first round of stops, the Brazilian dropped to the back of the field after his team battled to remove and replace a stubborn left rear wheel, losing over a minute.
“It is a frustrating situation and something we need to work on to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” said Massa.
The troublesome wheel appeared to be the one that made contact with Alonso’s Ferrari, but Massa wasn’t sure if that had caused the problem, which he thought was to do with the wheel nut.
“I just know there was some problem at the back of the car. I don’t know if it was the mistake that caused the problem with the wheel nut,” said Massa. “It effectively lost me the race.”
Meanwhile his teammate Valtteri Bottas showed that Williams had improving pace by finishing seventh and almost chasing down the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg in sixth.
Bottas too had to survive a wheel-to-wheel clash at the first turn, with Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.
“It was a good race for me despite some hard contact at the start which cost me a few positions. I also had to drive the whole race without telemetry which isn’t the easiest thing to do,” said Bottas.(AFP)
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