Formula 1

Difficult afternoon for Williams in Suzuka rain

1 Mins read

The Williams Martini Racing team started the Japanese Grand Prix from third and fourth on the grid, but ultimately did not have the pace to remain there in the rain at Suzuka.

Valterri Bottas finished sixth ahead of Felipe Massa, but fell behind the Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Riccardo of Red Bull Racing and Jenson Button of McLaren in the race. Both drivers primary focus however was on the well being of Jules Bianchi after the Marussia drivers race-ending crash.

Bottas admitted it was not an easy race for him, but was happy to be able to score some valuable points as they continue their battle for third position in the World Constructors’ Championship with Ferrari, who left Suzuka without scoring any points. Like all the other drivers, the Finn wished Bianchi well after his crash.

“It was not an easy race for us today, however we still got some points which is good,” said Bottas. “The car wasn’t great in the wet but we made the most of the strategy and extracted what we could. We are missing pace in the corners and so conceded a lot of time. It was a surprise to see the Red Bull so quick, in the dry we would have fared better.

“I really hope Jules is ok after the incident and that it is nothing serious.”

Team-mate Massa finished just behind Bottas in seventh, but felt the afternoon was difficult with the conditions as they were.

“The race was very difficult today, I suffered at the start with aquaplaning and towards the end it started to get dark as the rain fell again,” said Massa. “The Red Bulls were too fast for us today, especially on the intermediate tyre, so there was no chance we could defend.

“My main focus at the moment is that Jules is ok though.”

Massa admitted post-race that he was ‘screaming’ out his concerns about the conditions at Suzuka, believing the race should have been stopped before Bianchi’s accident.

“I’m worried,” admitted Massa. “I was already screaming on the radio five laps before the safety car that there was too much water on the track.

“They took a bit too long to bring out the safety car and it was dangerous. So we saw that there were some crashes at the end.”

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