Williams Martini Racing left the Italian Grand Prix at Monza celebrating a memorable weekend for the team as Felipe Massa lead home a 3-4 finish, heading up the ‘best of the rest’ behind the Mercedes 1-2.
In an exciting race Massa showed brilliant race craft when a challenge from Lewis Hamilton in to the first chicane could have ended both drivers races quite easily. While he could have defended aggressively, Massa took the sensible decision to give just enough room as the two drivers headed in to the first corner; With Hamilton on the outside, Massa judged the gap perfectly, giving enough space for the two to get through the chicane side-by-side.
“It was a fantastic race for me so I am really happy.” said Massa. “I had a good start and passed Magnussen at just the right time. I had to work hard to establish that position, sadly the Mercedes were still a bit quick, so we did the best we could.
“Monza is a special podium, and to hear the fans sing my name was amazing.” he added.
Team-mate Valterri Bottas lost time at the start, and slipped down to eleventh place, the Finn would drive a spirited race to battle his way through the field and take a superb fourth place for the team, the result helping Williams leap-frog Ferrari in the Constructors Championship.
“I had a few issues at the start which really effected how my race went” said Bottas. “Once the tyres were up to temperature I had a lot of work to do.
“It was good fun to overtake so many people and we had some good pace as well. As a team we had a really good day and it was good to overtake Ferrari. I’m pleased to see Felipe get his first podium of the season, hopefully we can be up there together soon.”
Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley was happy with the result but did admit it was a stressful race. “We finished where we should have done, although we did make it a bit more spectacular than we needed to.
“We had some issues with the starts which isn’t normal, so this needs to be investigated. Valtteri drove an incredible race to recover from 11th whilst managing his tyres. Felipe had an incredible race too, using all his experience including a great overtaking manoeuvre on Magnussen to secure a fantastic result. It was great to see the fans reception for him as well.”