The Williams Martini Racing team arrive at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix after their best performance of the season last time out in Austria. Valtteri Bottas took his maiden podium finish behind the dominant Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, while team-mate Felipe Massa took fourth after starting on pole position.
Bottas is looking to continue the momentum the team is building when the cars hit the track this weekend. Having taken his maiden podium finish, the Finnish driver is itching for more, and hopes some of the team from the factory will be able to attend the race.
“I am really looking forward to Silverstone,” said Bottas. “It’s always a great event and means a lot to us as it’s the team’s home Grand Prix, so hopefully some of the guys from the factory can come up and support us as well. We are hoping for a good result again, but will have to wait and see how the track suits us. We are aiming to be strong and to build on the momentum we have coming from Austria.”
Massa will be celebrating his 200th Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone, and is looking forward to racing in front of the passionate British fans. Like Bottas, he is hoping to maintain the pace that saw them take a 3-4 finish in Austria.
“Silverstone will be a special race, not just because it is the team’s home race, but also because I shall celebrate my 200th Grand Prix,” said Massa. “British fans are passionate about Formula One and it will be great to see the support for the team. Silverstone is a very quick track and good downforce is needed. I really like the Maggotts-Becketts complex; it’s a really fast part of the track and very important to get right. It will be interesting to see if we can maintain the pace we had in Austria, but the main focus will be on getting some good points.”
The Head of Performance Engineering at Williams Rob Smedley feels the Williams car should suit the fast nature of the Silverstone circuit this weekend. He also knows that the weather at the British circuit will determine how the tyres work on the cars.
“Silverstone is a very interesting circuit,” said Smedley. “It poses a real challenge to the engineers and drivers as we have to set the cars up for such high speed corners like Abbey, Copse and the Maggotts-Becketts complex. The car does have to be set up differently from other high speed circuits. The layout has high power and drag sensitivity which should suit our car this season.
“Depending on the temperature we can suffer from rear tyre graining, however, the hard tyre we have for the weekend could also suffer from low-temperature issues which we will have to manage. The weather always plays a huge part in the weekend as it can change from session to session. The circuit is old-school in terms of spectators as the layout allows the fans to get a good view, which makes for a great atmosphere; there is always a full house which makes it a pleasure to go there.”