Williams Martini Racing took their seventh podium finish of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, with Felipe Massa securing third place behind the two Mercedes drivers, while Valtteri Bottas endured a tough race to finish tenth.
Massa took his second podium of the season to the delight of his home fans, but felt he was a little lucky to get there after errors in the pit lane. He admitted it was his mistakes that saw him firstly speed in the pit lane, and secondly drive into the wrong pit box in his next stop.
“It was not an easy race but what a fantastic result for me, for my family, and for the team to finish on the podium in front of my home fans,” said Massa. “The energy from the crowd was amazing and really pushed me forward.
“The car had strong and consistent pace today and this allowed me to stay in third despite issues in my two pit stops. In the first stop I incurred a stop-and-go penalty after speeding in the pit lane after I hit the limiter twice by mistake, and in the second I stopped in the wrong box. We’re not normally next to McLaren and in the light their overalls looked the same colour as ours so this caught me out.
“In the end these issues were not enough to take away my podium because we had a good aggressive strategy and a really good car.”
Team-mate Bottas was running fourth early on, but a series of problems meant the Finn ended the race a lapped tenth. He suffered problems in two of his pit stops, one with his seat belts and another with his mechanics removing debris from his front and rear wings, and Bottas felt it was just not his day.
“It was a race full of different problems for me and in the end it just wasn’t my day,” said Bottas. “I had an issue with my belts at the beginning that we resolved at the first pit stop but this lost me a lot of time and I also lost time in the second stop.
“The conditions were very challenging as tyre wear was high and all cars were experiencing graining. As a team we have managed to come away with some decent points and I’m happy for Felipe, as the crowd reaction after he got out of the car was very special.
“These sort of days happen in Formula One and we need to regroup and make sure that Abu Dhabi is a problem free race for us.”