Williams Martini Racing: Canadian Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas claimed the team’s first podium of the season, finishing third in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Valtteri had a good start and managed to gain a position as a result of Rosberg going straight on at Turn 1. He made his only pitstop of the race on lap 23. Following his stop he was able to pass Ricciardo for fourth making his strategy work to move into third after Vesptappen stopped on lap 46.
Felipe Massa was forced to retire following a water system issue that caused his power unit to overheat on lap 36. Felipe was running seventh before his only pitstop of the race on lap 22. He was managing his tyres well before being forced to retire
The team collected 15 points to extend the gap to fifth-placed Force India to 39 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering:
I think that was a really good race for us with a well-deserved podium. As we expected, the pace of the car in these conditions was good. We gave away very little to the frontrunners and we beat Red Bull on track, which is really positive. The strategy was absolutely spot on. When other teams were doing two stops, we held our nerve and stuck with our one-stop strategy as planned, and it all worked out very well for us.
Valtteri drove a great race and the two pitstops that the pit crew did were really great as well. There’s a bitter aftertaste with the fact that we could have had both cars up there. Felipe would have finished anywhere from fourth to sixth so that’s a lot of points we’ve lost there with the water system issue that caused the temperatures to rise. We went through a series of counter measures to try and get round it, but none of them worked. We therefore had to take the decision to retire the car because the power unit is right at the start of its life.
Overall I think it’s a really positive result for the team. We’ve extended the gap to the people behind us, and even with one car out of the points we’ve lost very little to third place. We’ve got lots of good races coming up now; Azerbaijan, Austria, Silverstone, they’re all positive races. We have to look forward now and keep this momentum going.
I’m very happy with what we achieved as a team today. It’s a shame with what happened to Felipe, but this gives us a big motivation boost for the next few races. I think today shows that we are a strong team who can deliver good results. Our strategy was great and our pitstop was really good, yet again. It was definitely one of my best races. I’m really pleased with today and looking forward to the next race.
Of course I’m very disappointed not to finish the race because of a mechanical issue that we had. It’s a race where we’re supposed to score good points with both cars, but unfortunately we didn’t with mine. So we need to concentrate on the next race now as it’s a shame that it ended like this.