SILVERSTONE, 6th July 2014 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Felipe Massa said his poor start at the British Grand Prix was caused by a slow formation lap which caused his clutch to heat up.
The Williams driver lined up 15th on the grid but dropped down the order after a poor getaway and as a result was caught up in Kimi Raikkonen’s crash.
“The problem is that all these cars, they go very slow on the formation lap, very slow, we stop in the track and my clutch went very high temperature.” he explained.
“So it didn’t work, so the car was not moving on the start. Because the car was not moving so I start to go in the clutch and then it went to anti-stall so then I went last,”
The Brazilian said drivers had complained about Mercedes slow formation laps, something Race Director Charlie Whiting said he would look into. Massa said that no action has been taken and he believes penalties will prevent it from happening in the future.
“Yeah we always complain.” he said. “I think there was a lot of complaining already on the drivers briefing.”
“Charlie [Whiting] said he was going to look strongly on that but he never give any penalties,” he said.
“the FIA they were saying that we cannot go so slow but they didn’t do anything. They never penalise anybody so I think if they penalise one car because of that, give them five positions [grid drop] the next race, everything will change.”
“You cannot go slow because you want.” Massa said when asked if he thought Mercedes were doing it on purpose.
“For sure they do it by purpose, they did it most of the races and the first race it was even worse, so they doing it for a reason.”
On a more positive note, Massa said the car was ‘flying’ and believed he could have finished on the podium alongside Valtteri Bottas had he not been forced to retire after contact with Raikkonen.
“it was really a shame because normally the start is never a problem. It would have been a great start, it would have been also a fantastic race.” he said.
“The car was flying today, today we would have finished both on the podium, we would have been third in the championship.”