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Massa: Williams paying price for putting money first

Felipe Massa believes former team Williams is paying the price for putting money first in some of its decisions for this year, although he hopes it can bounce back in Formula 1 soon.

Massa: Williams paying price for putting money first
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 Mercedes, arrives on the grid
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 Mercedes
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 Mercedes
Lance Stroll, Williams FW41 Mercedes, leads Sergio Perez, Force India VJM11 Mercedes, Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11 Mercedes, Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 Mercedes, and Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL33 Renault
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41 and Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H

Williams has endured a tougher than expected start to 2018, and is the only team that has yet to score a point in the first three races of the campaign.

Massa, who retired from F1 at the end of last season and was replaced by Sergey Sirotkin, believes the difficulties that Williams is facing can be traced back to it not having the kind of money that is enjoyed by the big manufacturer teams.

The Grove-based outfit announced this week that it had enjoyed a slight increase in revenues for last year, but was aware of the gulf in spending between it and the major squads.

And its lack of freely-available resources has played a part in prompting it to take the inexperienced but well-backed duo of Lance Stroll and Sirotkin rather than well-paid superstar drivers.

Speaking to Motorsport.com at last weekend's Rome Formula E race, Massa said: "It's true that the team was suffering from the financial situation and I think they made decisions for 2018 putting money first.

"But this is not enough to make a competitive championship.

"All I can say is that I came out with my head held high. I have a good relationship with everyone at Grove and I hope that the best for the team comes out as soon as possible.

"But I can add that I'm happy to have made my decision last year."

When asked if, based on Williams' current struggles, his retirement from F1 was perfectly timed, he said: "Yes. I chose the right time and now I'm enjoying my life. I hope Williams can recover."

Ferrari surprise

Reflecting on the battle at the front of the grid, Massa said that he surprised at the early season success of Ferrari.

"To tell you the truth I didn't expect it," he said. "I expected Mercedes to be far ahead of Ferrari, and I think even Red Bull could be fighting them.

"On the other hand, what we saw in the first races, was great for the sport because we did not see just one team winning.

"I am happy that Ferrari has started well. In the Maranello team they have made several changes in the last two years and many thought they were backwards.

"On the other hand, at the Cavallino, they have shown that they have a large group that knows how to work very well. This makes me happy because I've always been a Ferrari fan."

Interview by Franco Nugnes

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Teams Williams
Author Jonathan Noble
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