Massa column: Qualifying frustrations prove costly in Britain

In his latest column, Felipe Massa reflects on another difficult weekend at Silverstone, where Williams celebrates its 40th anniversary.

The story of my British Grand Prix weekend was similar to that of the Red Bull Ring. That means a quite difficult qualifying session but then a good comeback in the race that allowed me the finish in the points for Williams Martini Racing.

However, this time the reasons for what happened were very different. As opposed to Austria, this time it was the tricky conditions with a damp track that slowed me in qualifying.

In free practice Williams had shown we had the pace to be in the top ten, and before qualifying I was certain we would be able to get through to Q3. We didn’t have any problems with tyre warm up this time – which had been our big problem at the Red Bull Ring.

But unfortunately before qualifying, the rain arrived and that meant track temperatures cooled a lot. The result was again we struggled to switch the new tyres on.

As well as that, I had some issues with traffic – so in the end I could manage no better than 14th for the start. It was disappointing because in free practice our pace had been close to Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg – and in Q3 he had ended up sixth fastest.

For the start of the race we chose to go with the soft tyres, with the aim of stretching the first stint for as long as possible to recover as many positions as we could. Things started well – I got past both Toro Rossos and was up to 11th quite quickly.

I thought the race would be more frantic but in the end it was quite straightforward. We pulled off a good strategy move to get past Stoffel Vandoorne too, when we switched to the supersoft compound.

At the time, though, despite the pace being good I wasn’t sure if the compound would last the whole race. But in the end everything went well and it was a fairly smooth run until the chequered flag.

Coming home in 10th place, to grab a point, was realistically the most we could have hoped for after starting from the seventh row. It was a bit frustrating though because without our issues in qualifying I think we could have battled with the Force Indias and Hulkenberg.

Points are always important though, and it is helping us building our total in the constructors’ championship. It was good to see, too, that the mechanics again pulled off the best pit stop out of all the teams.

The Silverstone weekend also marked an important milestone in the celebration of Williams’ 40th year. In the build-up to the race we watched the screening of the new feature film on the team that is coming out – which is quite exciting.

Now I am waiting to travel to Hungary for the final race before the summer break. It is not a secret that our car does not appear well-suited to tracks that have many corners and short straights – like Monte Carlo, Budapest and Singapore.

However, I also believe that every weekend can throw up some good surprises. And that is something I’m hoping for at the next race.