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Williams struggles with rain: rain tires too hot

Williams struggles with rain
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D he third practice promised a close race for places behind Mercedes . Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were separated by just 0.161 seconds. When the big rain came before Q3, the picture changed. Williams did everything right. Almost everything. Felipe Massa didn't want to hear any excuses: 'We started on the rain tires. That was wrong. We were on the track at the right time with the right tires. At the very end with fresh intermediates.'

Williams takes his tires too hard

Nevertheless, the cars with the Martini colors only landed on the grid positions 7 and 8. A full 2.5 seconds behind Mercedes and Ferrari. Even Red Bull and ToroRosso were faster, with Renault engines that still don't distribute their power perfectly over the rev range. Massa was at a loss: 'The same crap as last year. In the rain we lose speed compared to the others.'

The reason is not, as in the previous year, the lack of downforce. Massa: 'The new Williams is just an evolution of the old one, but it has more downforce than last year's car. You can also see that in the fast corners.' But the FW37 also puts more stress on the tires than its predecessor. Massa and Bottas could already see it in the long runs on Friday. 'The tire degradation was too high.'

This also explains why the intermediates overheated on the wet track. They are a notch softer than last year. 'It was still possible in the first sector. But then we lost more time on our opponents from sector to sector. The tires got hotter with every corner,' complained Massa. The Brazilian fears: 'We will suffer in the race. Our top speed is no longer as outstanding as last year. If we get stuck behind the Renault-engined cars, it will be difficult.'


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