The Williams Martini Racing team consolidated their third place in the Constructors’ Championship at Austin with a fourth and fifth place finish for Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas.
Massa got the jump on his team-mate at the start to run third early on, but was jumped during the second round of pit stops by the Red Bull Racing machine of Daniel Ricciardo after a slow stop, but the Brazilian did not lay any blame upon his mechanics who have been superb for the majority of this season.
“I had a very good start to get up to third place and we showed strong pace throughout the race, but unfortunately a slower than normal pit stop allowed Ricciardo to jump me and this could have cost us a podium which was possible,” said Massa. “These things happen though and the team have been operating at a very high level with pit stops this season so we need to quickly move on from this one.
“On the whole we need to see this as a positive weekend as we have scored more points than our rivals in the Constructors’ Championship and we have good momentum for the final two races of the season.”
Bottas lost a place to his team-mate at the start and then another to Ricciardo at the first round of pit stops, but was able to stay relatively close to those ahead of him although he could not mount a challenge to either to reclaim his starting position of third.
“Overall we have managed to secure some good points and increased our lead over Ferrari for third in the Constructors’ Championship, but there are a number of things we can learn from today,” said Bottas. “I had a bit of clutch slip at the beginning, which allowed Ricciardo to jump me in the first corner. The Red Bull’s also had better tyre management and could run at a better pace for longer, so that made it difficult to catch Ricciardo after he jumped me at the pit stops.
“At this point in the season we’re trying to maximise our points haul and this has been a solid result that puts us in a good position headed into Brazil.”