Williams’ Rob Smedley: “The pace of the car is just not there”

Valtteri Bottas - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering at the Williams Martini Racing team, was dissatisfied with the results of the team at the Hungaroring, with Valtteri Bottas ninth and Felipe Massa struggling down in eighteenth.

Smedley believed that Bottas’ ninth was the best result the Finn could have achieved in the heat of the Hungaroring on Sunday, but Massa’s day was heavily compromised by a steering rack issue that saw the Brazilian struggling to steer his car throughout the 70 lap race.

Smedley knows the team now need to work hard to get through what he describes as ‘tough times’ for the Grove-based team, with only four points scored by Williams in the past three races.

“I’m disappointed with that result,” said Smedley. “We had to work very hard for those two points. I think we achieved the maximum we could with Valtteri, he drove a solid race, but the pace of the car is just not there.

“After Felipe’s accident yesterday the car was out of balance and he just couldn’t get into a rhythm. Starting from 18th with an un-balanced car was always going to be difficult.

“He had a steering rack issue, after we had to re-build the car following his crash in qualifying, which meant the steering was off centre and was heavy in right-hand corners. We had to try and get it fixed before the race, both in the garage and on the grid. The guys did a very commendable job.

“Operationally, the strategy was good today, as were the pit stops. There wasn’t much more we could have done. These are tough times for the team. We have to knuckle down, be introspective, work as a team and start to understand how we’re going to get more performance from the car.”