Massa – Monaco challenge not as tough as expected

Massa – Monaco challenge not as tough as expected

Felipe Massa has admitted that his pre-race predictions ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix were wide of the mark.

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The Brazilian had expected the race to be the “toughest of the season,” with drivers crashing out owing to the challenge of the new 2014 cars.

Ahead of last week’s Monaco Grand Prix the Williams racer told AUTOSPORT: “The torque we have from the engine is maybe double what we had last year, and the grip from the tyre is not very high, so Monaco will be a very easy race to crash.

“I think it will be the toughest race of the season.”

Massa was not the only driver to raise these fears, with Force India’s Sergio Perez commenting that he expected to see a lot of drivers bouncing off the barriers that line the tight Monte Carlo streets.

However, only two drivers – Sauber’s Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez – crashed out of Sunday’s race, with the rest of the weekend relatively clean aside from a moment for Daniil Kvyat at the exit of the tunnel during the opening phase of qualifying, which came as a surprise to Massa.

“I expected Monaco to be much more tricky that how it was,” Massa explained after the race. “It was better than expected.

“We didn’t see so much mistakes and people crashing alone, so it shows it was a bit better than expected.

“I thought it was going to be very difficult with more torque but it was no problem.”

The Brazilian picked up his third points finish of the season in Monaco, with a solid drive to seventh despite a clash with Marcus Ericsson during qualifying that confined him to just 16th on the grid.

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic

Dan Paddock

Dan Paddock

Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the recently appointed Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July of last year as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. He has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at the 2014 British Grand Prix, his debut in the Formula 1 paddock. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaing his own modest blog.