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Williams Martini Racing: Hungarian Grand Prix

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Williams Martini Racing: Hungarian Grand Prix

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: I’m disappointed with that result. We had to work very hard for those two points.I think we achieved the maximum we could with Valtteri, he drove a solid race, but the pace of the car is just not there.

After Felipe’s accident yesterday the car was out of balance and he just couldn’t get into a rhythm. Starting from 18th with an un-balanced car was always going to be difficult. He had a steering rack issue, after we had to re-build the car following his crash in qualifying, which meant the steering was off centre and was heavy in right-hand corners. We had to try and get it fixed before the race, both in the garage and on the grid. The guys did a very commendable job.

Operationally, the strategy was good today, as were the pitstops. There wasn’t much more we could have done. These are tough times for the team. We have to knuckle down, be introspective, work as a team and start to understand how we’re going to get more performance from the car.
Valtteri Bottas: The start of the race was really good. It was very important to get ahead of the Force India. After that we pretty much executed our plan. The supersoft tyre was holding on a lot better than we thought it would, so we ran a bit longer in the first stint. After that our pace on the softs more or less matched our predictions. I think we got the maximum points today from the starting position that we had. I’m sure in Hockenheim we can get more points and try to build a bigger gap from Force India.
Felipe Massa: It was a terrible race, which started on the way to the grid with the problem with my steering wheel rack being too light on one side and too heavy on the other. We tried to fix the problem and we couldn’t, but at least we improved it because the initial lap was impossible. To do the whole race with the steering wheel heavy on one side and light on the other was really difficult. I tried to race until the end but this wasn’t the result we were aiming for. The next race at Hockenheim is a different track which will hopefully be much better for us, so I hope we can get back to normality and score points with both cars.

Race Notes:
    •    Valtteri Bottas finished 9th and Felipe Massa 18th in the Hungarian Grand Prix
    •    Valtteri started 10th but gained a position on the opening lap.Valtteri ran a long first stint on the supersoft tyre before pitting on lap 16. He switched to the soft tyres on lap 43 and was able to manage them until the end of the race
    •    Felipe encountered steering rack issues on the way to the grid and the crew worked hard to try and fix it before the start of the race. The issue was  improved to a degree that Felipe was able to race the car
    •    Felipe stopped on lap 25 switching  to a one-stop strategy, but due to tyre wear issues he switched back to a two-stop on lap 65 to ensure he had good pace to the end of the race
    •    Valtteri remains seventh in the Drivers’ Championship with Felipe remaining ninth. The team extends the gap to Force India to 20 points, maintaining fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

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