Williams’ Rob Smedley: “Qualifying was disappointing for us”

Felipe Massa - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Rob Smedley admitted it was disappointing to see both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa fail to advance to the top ten shootout during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, especially after showing strong pace during free practice.

The Head of Performance Engineering within the Williams Martini Racing set-up felt they had the potential to qualify within the top ten after showing pace close to that of the Scuderia Ferrari team in practice, with the Italian team ultimately qualifying third and fifth.

Williams ultimately were forced to settle for eleventh for Bottas and thirteenth for Massa, but Smedley is remaining positive that they can have a strong race and can score good points, especially as they strive to overhaul the Sahara Force India F1 Team for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

“Today’s qualifying was disappointing for us because the car has been quick, especially over one lap, all weekend,” said Smedley. “When we needed to put the laps together, they just didn’t come off.

“It’s unfortunate because we were just a few tenths off Ferrari, right up until the time we needed to get the important laps in and they didn’t come. That’s just how it is, and we’ve got to look ahead positively to the race.

“We’re starting on the clean side with a free choice of tyres, so we’ll have a look at what we’re going to do with the strategy. The car is quick and it’s been very good in the long runs, so we’ll see what comes out of it tomorrow. I’m sure we can score some good points.”