The Williams F1 team left Bahrain on the back of their second consecutive double points finish, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finishing seventh and eighth on Sunday. However they left a little disappointed, having been challenging for a podium place all race long but were not helped by the intervention of the safety car.
“The safety car didn’t help the strategy as I think we should have been up with the Force India’s rather than behind the Red Bulls so that is a shame,” said Massa. “Other than that it was a good race, with some good battles and to finish with both cars in the points is really positive.
“The start was fantastic, I did everything right and I had good grip and it all went well. We were in a good position and fighting but sadly the tyre degradation was worse than we expected.”
Team-mate Bottas started the race in third place, his joint best career starting position with Canada 2013, but slipped to eighth in the race despite having a good race and many wheel-to-wheel battles with Force India’s, Ferrari’s, McLaren’s and Red Bulls.
“After a poor start our race strategy was compromised,” said Bottas. “I had too much wheelspin and that lost me a few positions which is frustrating. We had issues with the tyres that were worse than expected but on a positive note we got some good points from both cars. We always want more though, so we will continue to work hard and look forward to the next race.”
Rob Smedley, who was at his first race for the team as Head of Vehicle Performance following his arrival from Ferrari, was happy about how the weekend went for the team but also knows where the team can improve.
“Overall I am extremely happy,” said Smedley. “We finished the weekend with both cars in the points, and good points too. To start in third and finish in eighth for Valtteri is a bit frustrating, but that’s racing and we have to accept that. There are many positives still to take, one thing we do need is a little bit more race pace.
“The team worked very well together from strategy to pit stops, the change over the last twelve months has been very encouraging. There is still a lot of work to do but I’m very impressed with the quality of people here.”