Williams Martini Racing: Italian Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas finished sixth and Felipe Massa ninth in the.
Valtteri had a good start, running P4 in the opening laps and battling with Hamilton. Running P5 for much of the race and opting for a two-stop strategy, he was ultimately overtaken by the quicker Red Bull of Ricciardo in the final stages of the race.
Felipe had a strong start, moving from 11th to eighth on the opening lap. Greater than expected degradation on the option tyre resulted in a two-stop strategy, and he drove a solid and consistent race to finish in the points.
Valtteri remains seventh in the Drivers’ Championship with 70 points and Felipe tenth with 41 points
while the team regains fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, three points ahead of Force India.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: I think that was pretty much the most we could achieve today. We stopped a little bit early with Valtteri but the strategy played out well. Ricciardo got us at the end but he had been quite a lot quicker throughout the race and was right up behind Valtteri, but we did what we could to race him. It would have been nice to have held on to fifth but we just didn’t have the pace over the Red Bull. With Felipe, we went into the race planning a one-stop, but stopped earlier to cover Hulkenberg and then tried to keep Felipe out as long as possible to try and chase Perez at the end. The qualifying tyre we put on for the final stint was better than we expected and with one more lap we may have been able to gain another position with Felipe. Overall, in terms of strategy, pitstops, and how we operated as a team we managed the race well and it is satisfying to reclaim fourth in the championship.
Valtteri Bottas: I was personally expecting a bit more from today. I set myself a target of finishing on the podium, but we didn’t quite have the pace which meant that I had to push the tyre a little bit more in every stint just to secure my position on track. This meant that towards the end of the stint I was struggling a bit. The pure pace wasn’t there today, but overall we leave Monza with a positive result for the team, taking back fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.This gives us a bit of confidence and shows that we can definitely keep hold of fourth if we keep doing the right things.
Felipe Massa: I think it was a good race apart from the fact that we didn’t have the pace we expected to have with the option tyres. My race started after I changed on to the supersoft tyres and my pace was really good. If I could have got a bit more out of my tyres then it could have been better but I’m pleased that we managed to get enough points to take fourth place back in the Constructors’ Championship.