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
6:00am Saturday 28th November 2015
Jack Brooks made it third time lucky at last night’s Oxfordshire Sports Awards.
2:00pm Friday 27th November 2015
MICHAEL Collins will return to Oxford United next week as his loan spell at York City comes to an end.
12:10pm Friday 27th November 2015
THERE have been plenty of highlights at Oxford United this season, but Michael Appleton says there is no time to enjoy them as he seeks to capitalise on an opportunity 12 years in the making.
12:00pm Friday 27th November 2015
Another home game, another disappointing result. Our loss on Saturday against Gosport Borough meant we dropped to third position in the table.
11:30am Friday 27th November 2015
A JOURNALIST who went undercover to expose football’s slave trade says his task would have been much more difficult without help from Oxford United.
9:30am Friday 27th November 2015
Oxford United took measures to maintain their promotion form ahead of a busy December by making two loan signings from Sky Bet Championship clubs.
9:00am Friday 27th November 2015
PATRICK Hoban says his sudden glut of goals is down to a change in fortune in front of goal rather than a change in approach.
8:30am Friday 27th November 2015
RONNIE Moore says Oxford United’s players have the quality to “frighten the life” out of his Hartlepool United side tomorrow.
8:00am Friday 27th November 2015
GENERAL manager Justin Merritt says he wants to create cup fever at Oxford City as they begin their FA Trophy campaign at home to Marlow tomorrow afternoon.
8:00am Friday 27th November 2015
THE county’s finest talent will be out in force tonight at the Oxfordshire Sports Awards.