Williams driver Felipe Massa is ready to battle for a place on the podium in tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix after moving up a gear in the second practice session.
The Grove-based outfit were considerably off the pace in first practice at Spa-Francorchamps.
But they showed a little more of their hand in the afternoon, suggesting there is plenty left in the tank as they are expected to be Mercedes’ closest rivals this weekend.
Massa was fourth fastest, but 1.138secs in arrears of Lewis Hamilton, with teammate Valtteri Bottas a further two places and 0.34 adrift.
“We saw some tyre degradation, so that will make tyre strategy crucial and it will be important to be on the right tyre at the right time in the race,” said Massa.
“Mercedes are still looking very strong and seem to have an advantage over everyone else, but we should have a good opportunity to fight for the podium.”
Bottas added: “We will be aiming for a strong result in qualifying and the race because this is a track that is suited to our car.”
The Enstone-based Lotus team experienced a tougher day, with Romain Grosjean ending the first session with the 13th fastest time and the second session in 14th.
Pastor Maldonado was 18th in the morning, before spinning off in the afternoon.
Marcus Ericsson and Andre Lotterer, in the Leafield-based Caterham cars, were 19th and 20th, split by just 0.043.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
- Kane Hemmings out to make immediate impact at Oxford United
- Majority of Oxford United fans prepared to boycott EFL Trophy
- ATHLETICS: Brilliant Tom Anstice claims three titles and breaks Radley club record
- BOWLS: Singles champion Chris Gilkes comes so close to historic Oxfordshire title double
- BOWLS: Headington and Carterton to vie for Oxfordshire League crown
- ATHLETICS: James Bolton wins Waddesdon Manor 5km title
- RUGBY UNION: Scrum half Greg Goodfellow backs Richard Thorpe to be big hit at Chinnor
- BAR BILLIARDS: Berinsfield in fine form in Johnson’s Buildbase Oxford & District Summer League
- Oxford United sign striker Kane Hemmings from Dundee in six-figure move
- WATCH: Videos of Oxford United's new signing Kane Hemmings scoring for Dundee