Williams’ Rob Smedley: “Not where we want to be”

Felipe Massa - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Rob Smedley admitted tenth and eleventh on the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was not what the Williams Martini Racing team were hoping for on Saturday but is hoping for better on Sunday.

The Head of Performance Engineering of the Grove-based team felt that Felipe Massa, who retires after Sunday’s Grand Prix, got the better of the Ultrasoft Pirelli tyre during the session to make it into the top ten shootout, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas struggled with the same tyre and could only manage eleventh.

Smedley is hopeful the team can end the season on a high at the Yas Marina Circuit, and is looking to get both cars into the points at the chequered flag.

“Felipe was more comfortable on the Ultrasoft tyre than Valtteri today,” admitted Smedley. “It’s a shame Felipe wasn’t able to repeat his Q2 time to get himself into ninth rather than tenth.

“In Valtteri’s case, he just couldn’t get the qualifying tyre working. So, we’re tenth and eleventh and that’s not where we want to be, but we won’t give up.

“We will keep pushing and do what we can. We’re in a position to get some points tomorrow and finish the season on an upward trajectory.”