Williams’ Rob Smedley: “The drivers both drove great races”

Valtteri Bottas - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Head of Performance Engineering at Williams Martini Racing, Rob Smedley, felt that the team choose the right strategy for the Mexican Grand Prix, with one-stopping being the optimal strategy for the race.

According to Smedley the team went into the race weekend thinking a one-stop was possible with the low tyre degradation of the medium Pirelli tyres.

“Our strategy was the right one, the drivers both drove great races and the pit stops were really good,” said Smedley.  “We had some new people on the pit crew this weekend and so it’s great to see us still performing some of the fastest race stops.

“We went into the race with the plan of doing a one-stop, knowing that it would be close between that and a two-stop race depending on how long the medium tyre would last. We thought we were right on the limit when stopping with Felipe on lap 14, but in the end the degradation was very low, even negative.”

The medium tyres proved extremely effective in the race, allowing teams to run long into the strategy and give them options into the closing laps.

“The medium tyres were getting better and better throughout the race and we even saw a couple of cars do 69-lap stints on them.”

Even though Williams lost a point to rivals Sahara Force India F1 Team, Smedley feels the team can overhaul them to finish fourth in the Constructors.

“We lost a point to Force India but it remains very open between us with two races remaining, so we will be doing our utmost to get that fourth place back in the championship.”