For Felipe Massa, 2015 so far is like a glass half-full.
The empty half is that Williams – last year a main rival to title-winner Mercedes – has fallen behind the resurgent Ferrari.
“Last year we managed to beat Ferrari with a smaller budget,” said Massa’s teammate Valtteri Bottas in China. “I see no reason why we can’t do it again.”
Brazilian Massa, however, is not so sure.
“If two teams are working in the right direction and one of them has half the budget, then eventually you will notice that,” he said.
Massa thinks Ferrari, his old team, has discovered something very special about how to manage Pirelli’s tricky tyres.
“In qualifying in China, they (Ferrari) were one second behind Mercedes,” he said. “In the race they were on par.
“They are obviously doing something completely different to all the other teams with their tyres,” added Massa.
The half glass full for Massa, however, is that he has arguably set the pace at Williams this year, despite the much-vaunted talents of his younger teammate Bottas.
Rob Smedley, Williams’ chief engineer who also worked hand-in-hand with Massa at Ferrari, thinks the 33-year-old has finally rediscovered the kind of form that drove him to the title showdown against Lewis Hamilton in 2008.
“For the comparison with Ferrari, I don’t want to talk in more detail,” said Massa, who has said previously he is now much happier than in his final years in red.
“This is in the past now,” he added.
© RIF | GMM