Williams F1 Race News

23.11.2014 Adu Dhabi Grand Prix

Race Notes:
• Felipe Massa finished second and Valtteri Bottas third in the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi.
• After a difficult start for Valtteri he fought his way back through the field whilst Felipe maintained position in third.
• Felipe managed his tyres well in every stint and after overtaking Nico Rosberg began closing the gap to leader Hamilton.
• The team's first double podium finish since 2005 secured third in the Constructors’ Championship with Valtteri fourth and Felipe seventh in the Drivers' Championship.

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal:: I am exceptionally proud of the team today, to go from P9 last year to P3 in 2014 is amazing. The work to turn the team around has been hard, but I am so happy to see the smiles back on the faces of the people that work here. This is just the first step in a great future for Williams. We must congratulate Mercedes on winning both Championships and thank Mercedes HPP for all their effort throughout the season.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering:: It was a fitting end to the season. The team has come on over the year in an incredible fashion. To get our best result of the season in the final race is a fitting tribute to all the work we have done. It's been over ten years since Williams was last P3 in the Constructors' and that is testament to the effort that the guys have made, many of whom have been here through the tough times are now reaping the benefit of their commitment.

Felipe Massa: It was a close race, I didn't think the victory was there, but it was so close at the end. It was good to be racing and pushing the Mercedes. I hope this is a strong building block to go on for next year. The team progressed so much throughout the year, which is why we were able to get podiums in the second half of the season; we will continue this forward movement into next year.

Valtteri Bottas: We were very competitive today. I got a bad start and the race was compromised after I was stuck behind a few cars, so to walk away with a podium is incredible. It was a good race; I could really push and fight. The team has grown and developed throughout the season, from our first race in Melbourne to our best result here. It's a great start to build on for next year and to continue the team’s great history.

09.11.14 Brazilian Grand Prix

Race Notes:
• Felipe Massa finished third and Valtteri Bottas tenth in today's Brazilian Grand Prix.
• Felipe incurred a 5-second penalty after his first pitstop for speeding in the pitlane, but had enough pace to retain his third place and drove a consistent race to finish on the podium.
• Valtteri had a number of issues during his pitstops which put him back down the order in an eventual tenth place.
• WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING has extended its advantage over Ferrari for third in the Constructors' Championship to 44 points.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering:: That was probably the most hectic race we have had all year and was very difficult to manage from the pit wall with everything that was going on. We had a lot of issues; both cars had debris stuck in them and we had to remove these at different pit stops, Valtteri lost time in his first stop as he had an issue with his belts that we needed to check, and Felipe lost time in his second stop through a penalty and stopping in the wrong box. Nevertheless we have secured some good points in spite of these challenges, extending our lead over fourth in the Championship and Felipe put in a very mature drive to finish on the podium in front of his home fans. The car is quick and this race had proved that - we now need to make sure that in Abu Dhabi we fully maximise the points that we should be attaining with this car.

Felipe Massa: It was not an easy race but what a fantastic result for me, for my family, and for the team to finish on the podium in front of my home fans. The energy from the crowd was amazing and really pushed me forward. The car had strong and consistent pace today and this allowed me to stay in third despite issues in my two pitstops. In the first stop I incurred a stop-and-go penalty after speeding in the pit lane after I hit the limiter twice by mistake, and in the second I stopped in the wrong box. We're not normally next to McLaren and in the light their overalls looked the same colour as ours so this caught me out. In the end these issues were not enough to take away my podium because we had a good aggressive strategy and a really good car.

Valtteri Bottas: It was a race full of different problems for me and in the end it just wasn’t my day. I had an issue with my belts at the beginning that we resolved at the first pit stop but this lost me a lot of time and I also lost time in the second stop. The conditions were very challenging as tyre wear was high and all cars were experiencing graining. As a team we have managed to come away with some decent points and I'm happy for Felipe as the crowd reaction after he got out of the car was very special. These sort of days happen in Formula One and we need to regroup and make sure that Abu Dhabi is a problem free race for us.

02.11.14 United States Grand Prix

Race Notes:
• Felipe Massa finished fourth and Valtteri Bottas fifth in today’s United States Grand Prix.
• Felipe and Valtteri drove clean and consistent races, but after Ricciardo moved ahead during the pitstops, the Red Bull had the pace to hold onto the final podium position.
• WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING has extended its advantage over Ferrari for third in the Constructors’ Championship to 42 points.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We are slightly disappointed to have lost places to where we started, but at the end of the day Ricciardo was quicker than us and drove a very good race. We need to analyse our strategy as our pitstop choice allowed Red Bull to jump us for the podium, so we will go away and assess what we could have done differently and rectify that for next time. We are focused on consolidating third place in the Constructors’ Championship and we need to be satisfied with the fact that we have extended our position over Ferrari so well done to all of the team for another strong performance.

Felipe Massa: I had a very good start to get up to third place and we showed strong pace throughout the race, but unfortunately a slower than normal pitstop allowed Ricciardo to jump me and this could have cost us a podium which was possible. These things happen though and the team have been operating at a very high level with pitstops this season so we need to quickly move on from this one. On the whole we need to see this as a positive weekend as we have scored more points than our rivals in the Constructors’ Championship and we have good momentum for the final two races of the season.

Valtteri Bottas: Overall we have managed to secure some good points and increased our lead over Ferrari for third in the Constructors’ Championship, but there are a number of things we can learn from today. I had a bit of clutch slip at the beginning which allowed Ricciardo to jump me in the first corner. The Red Bull’s also had better tyre management and could run at a better pace for longer, so that made it difficult to catch Ricciardo after he jumped me at the pitstops. At this point in the season we’re trying to maximise our points haul and this has been a solid result that puts us in a good position headed into Brazil.

12.10.14 Russian Grand Prix

Race Notes:
• Valtteri Bottas finished third and Felipe Massa 11th in today's Russian Grand Prix.
• Valtteri drove a clean race and showed consistent pace to secure his fifth podium of the season.
• Felipe pitted early and quickly fought his way into the top ten, but traffic in his final stint meant that he was not able to take advantage of his fresher tyres and finish in the points.
• WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING has extended its advantage over Ferrari for third in the Constructors Championship to 28 points.
• Congratulations to Mercedes AMG on becoming the 2014 Constructors' Champions.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: A great result today to secure 15 points and we have extended our third position in the Constructors' by five points which is important. Valtteri put in a very mature performance and its great see him up to fourth in the Drivers’ standings. It’s been a very disappointing weekend for Felipe and it was the reliability issue yesterday that put him very much on the back foot. We have lost at least 10 points on his car today so going forwards we need to focus on making sure that we get all of the little details right and maximise the points we score because we know the car is quick and can fight with teams at the front.

Valtteri Bottas: We went into the race today with the mentality that we were going to fight Mercedes for the win, but their pace in the race surprised us a bit and in the end we need to be satisfied with third place and another podium. I was keeping pace with Hamilton at the beginning but in the middle of my first stint the rear tyres started to go away and that allowed him to create a gap. In the second stint I didn’t realise Rosberg was quite as close as he was and his move caught me a bit by surprise, but he had more pace at that point anyway as my prime tyres were taking a good ten laps to switch on so he would have caught me regardless. I was closing in the final laps as my tyres were getting better but he had managed to create too big a gap. I’m very happy to be in fourth place in the standings and we have some great momentum heading into the US Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa: My strategy today was undermined by traffic and that prevented me from getting in the points. We decided to stop on the first lap and after that I was in clean air and had good pace on the option tyres so made up a good number of positions. I then came up against Perez who had strong straight line speed so I lost a lot of time behind him. After my second stop I soon found myself behind Perez again and I didn’t really have any good opportunities to take a risk and pass him. Of course it’s disappointing to finish 11th when we had a very competitive car, but we are looking strong at this point in the season so we need to focus now on Austin and making sure that the race is problem free.

05.10.14 Japanese Grand Prix

Race Notes:
• Valtteri Bottas finished sixth and Felipe Massa seventh as the Japanese Grand Prix started, and ended, behind the safety car.
• As the track conditions improved the race began but both drivers struggled on the intermediate tyres in tricky conditions.
• The race ended early due to an accident involving Jules Bianchi, and the team’s thoughts and hopes are with him and the Marussia team.

Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance: Our first concern is for the wellbeing of Jules, we hope that everything is ok. In the race we made some good strategy calls and as a result we extracted what we could and finished in a decent position. The conditions were difficult at the start and equally at the end as it got dark. However, our thoughts and hopes are with Jules, his family and friends, and the Marussia team.

Felipe Massa: The race was very difficult today, I suffered at the start with aquaplaning and towards the end it started to get dark as the rain fell again. The Red Bulls were too fast for us today, especially on the intermediate tyre, so there was no chance we could defend. My main focus at the moment is that Jules is ok though.

Valtteri Bottas: It was not an easy race for us today, however we still got some points which is good. The car wasn’t great in the wet but we made the most of the strategy and extracted what we could. We are missing pace in the corners and so conceded a lot of time. It was a surprise to see the Red Bull so quick, in the dry we would have fared better. I really hope Jules is ok after the incident and that it is nothing serious.

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