Felipe Massa’s best finishes so far this season have been 5th in Australia and Russia, whilst Valtteri Bottas managed 3rd in Canada. There is a sense of decline at Williams though as they lose touch with the Red Bull’s ahead of them in the constructors standings.
By this point last season, Bottas had 25 more points and Massa had 36 more points. The Brazilian and the Finn were part of an the exciting team that could give Mercedes an occasional run for their bottomless pit of money.
This season, the performances have been much more inconsistent. Where 2015 saw a constant finish in and around the top six, 2016 has frustrated Williams as they contest the lower echelons of the points far too often.
Felipe Massa wrote this in his column over at Motorsport.com:
“Although I’m happy with what I managed to do at the British Grand Prix, both myself and the Williams Martini Racing team were expecting a different Silverstone weekend.
I had better pace than my teammate, but I still struggled a lot. I had fights with Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and other drivers, but still managed to miss a reward at the end of it.
After our high expectations ahead of the weekend, something did not work as expected. Our engineers had pulled off a substantial technical effort to bring some new components for the last two races, which we hoped would help us.
But at these two races in Austria and Britain, which we should have shown our best, things did not live up to expectations. ”
– Felipe Massa
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) July 10, 2016
The main issue with Williams is that they’ve built a car that seems much more sensitive to conditions than their closest competitors. On hot tarmac in the dry, Williams look like the deadly team they were last season. But if the temperature is ambient or cool, the FW38 struggles to get its tyre temperature into the optimal operating window. If it rains, Williams can forget about the podium. The Hungaroring doesn’t play to their advantages either, so no immediate improvement is expected.