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Symonds: Felipe Massa exceeded Williams F1 team's expectations

2014. December 28. 15:32
Williams Formula 1 team chief technical officer Pat Symonds admits Felipe Massa's speed in 2014 exceeded expectations.

Massa moved to Williams after eight seasons at Ferrari during which time he came close to winning the 2008 title, but he struggled to match team-mate Fernando Alonso from 2010-2013.

Symonds believes the change of environment has enabled Massa to rediscover his best form.

"We all knew Felipe was quick and it wasn't that long ago that he almost won the championship," Symonds told AUTOSPORT.

"I didn't know him very well before he came to us, but he's a great guy and a great team player.

"He was actually quicker than I thought he was [going to be].

"I think this is a good example of putting people in the right environment and they will flourish.

"He's in the perfect place now and I think the team is as well.

"We have given him the freedom that he needed and in return he's absolutely given us credibility, speed and points."

Massa scored three podium finishes in 2014 compared to team-mate Valtteri Bottas's six, but Symonds reckons incidents with Kamui Kobayashi in Melbourne and Kimi Raikkonen at Silverstone in particular cost Massa more opportunities to score heavily.

"In Australia, what could he do about Kobayashi driving into the back of him?" said Symonds. "There are some things you just can't avoid.

"At Silverstone, I think his reactions saved a much worse accident when he hit Raikkonen - anyone would have had that accident.

"I am frustrated when I look back and count all the points we should have got."

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