MOTORSPORT: Massa sets sights on podium finish in Belgium

Williams driver Felipe Massa addresses the media

Williams driver Felipe Massa addresses the media

First published in Sport

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.

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