Williams’ Rob Smedley: “I think that was the most we could achieve”

Hockenheim, Germany. Saturday 30 July 2016. Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance, Williams Martini Racing. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams ref: Digital Image WW2Q2127. Credit: Williams Martini Racing

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering at Williams Martini Racing, felt the team got the best result they could have hoped for at Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

The 42-year-old felt they could perhaps have better maximised their strategy with driver Valtteri Bottas, who was overtaken by Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages of the race, by not bringing the Finn in so early, however the North Yorkshireman believes it probably would not have made much difference as the pace of the RB12 had been much faster than the FW38, throughout the grand prix.

“We stopped a little bit early with Valtteri but the strategy played out well. Ricciardo got us at the end but he had been quite a lot quicker throughout the race and was right up behind Valtteri, but we did what we could to race him.

“It would have been nice to have held on to fifth but we just didn’t have the pace over the Red Bull.”

Felipe Massa came home in ninth place, but crucially ahead of Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, allowing the Williams F1 team to move into fourth spot in the Constructor’s Championship, now three points clear of the Silverstone based squad.

“With Felipe, we went into the race planning a one-stop, but stopped earlier to cover Hulkenberg and then tried to keep Felipe out as long as possible to try and chase Perez at the end.

“The qualifying tyre we put on for the final stint was better than we expected and with one more lap we may have been able to gain another position with Felipe.”

Smedley was pleased with the teams overall performance, and being able to get one over on their main rivals this weekend.

“Overall, in terms of strategy, pit stops, and how we operated as a team we managed the race well and it is satisfying to reclaim fourth in the championship.”