Massa: Williams hunting down Red Bull

Although Felipe Massa admits it could be a difficult weekend for Williams in Spain, he is determined to further reduce Red Bull's advantage in the championship.

With Mercedes and Ferrari leading the pack, Williams are embroiled in a battle with Red Bull for the 'best of the rest' title.

At present that belongs to Red Bull, who have 57 points. However, after a wretched Russian GP weekend for the Milton Keynes squad and a double points-haul for Massa and his team-mate, Williams are just six off the pace.

"Our focus is already on the next race in Barcelona, a track the drivers and teams know really well after our pre-season testing there," Massa wrote in his Motorsport.com column.

"The Circuit de Catalunya is a track that rewards a good chassis and good aerodynamics, especially in the third sector.

"It will not be an easy weekend for us, but we will aim to make as many points up to Red Bull as we can.

"We have many good cards still to play, and I want to take this moment to emphasise that over the first part of 2016, Williams has made great strides with its pitstops. At all four races so far we have been the fastest team overall – three times with me and one time with Valtteri.

"So I would like to give a round of applause to all the guys in the team for a job well done. Let's go on like this!"

Looking back at the Russian Grand Prix weekend, Massa reckons Williams, who were fourth and fifth on the day with Valtteri Bottas ahead of the Brazilian, were without a doubt the third best team at the track.

He explained: "On track, it was a positive Russian Grand Prix for Williams Martini Racing,  and in terms of points, it was a very good one for us.

"At some points of the weekend, we could even have imagined that we would be going away with a podium finish.

"Although that did not happen, to have left Sochi with 22 points in the bag compared to Red Bull getting zero is not bad at all. We recovered a lot of ground in the Constructors' Championship, and that is really important.

"The weekend was good right from the start. Williams does not normally find itself in good positions during FP1 and FP2 practice on Friday, because we prefer to conduct all our work in race trim.

"The engineers also like to focus their analysis on tyre degradation, which means a strict programme of long runs, so it rarely happens that myself or Valtteri Bottas end up in the top five on the Friday charts.

"But that is exactly what happened in Sochi, where the results were there from the start, and the positions were certainly no fluke. The step we had made was also confirmed on Saturday and Sunday, with Valtteri taking fourth and me fifth.

"It is true that Ferrari and Mercedes were not within our reach, but in Sochi we were firmly the third-best team."

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