Felipe Massa’s crash in opening Canadian Grand Prix practice was caused by the DRS on his Williams Formula 1 car failing to close properly.
The Brazilian had a heavy impact with the Turn 1 barriers early on Friday morning. The team is still investigating what caused the DRS to malfunction, but confirmed it had not fully closed when Massa lost control and spun under braking.
“The accident was nothing to do with me, it was a problem with the rear wing and the DRS,” said Massa. “I even switched off the DRS myself before the braking, but it didn’t close so when I braked the DRS was almost 100 percent open and that’s why I crashed. It’s a shame because crashing like that at the beginning of the day is definitely a pain for everybody.”
Although the rear wing was not a new specification, Massa was running it in the lowest downforce configuration Williams had tried for that design so far.
Having been a long way off the pace at the previous event in Monaco, Williams ended Friday in Canada an encouraging sixth fastest with Valtteri Bottas.
“We already managed to get the car balanced in FP1 to a very good level and I was very pleased with the car today, but tomorrow it’s going to be a different story,” said Bottas. “It’s going to be very close here, but it’s certainly a much better feeling than what we had in Monaco and Barcelona.”
Massa was back in 13th, which he said was largely a legacy of his crash.
“The afternoon was OK. I didn’t have everything we could have on the car for performance for the afternoon because of the crash, so I’m really looking for that tomorrow,” he said. “Everything will be on the car and we can be competitive.
“The car’s showed reasonably good pace straight away, so that’s positive and I hope it can be even more positive for tomorrow.”