Williams Martini Racing Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe was pleased with the squad’s performance at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, having looked well off the pace for the majority of the weekend.
Despite bringing a significant upgrade package to Spielberg, both Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll struggled to get the FW40 and tyres working on Friday and Saturday, qualifying way down the order in seventeenth and eighteenth place, and looking down and out going into Sunday’s race.
Keeping out of trouble on a chaotic opening lap saw the Williams pair make up a number of places however, seeing them move inside the top ten in no time at all, which Lowe feels helped them to bring home the points today.
“A double-points finish is a great achievement for us today. Congratulations to Felipe and Lance for producing that result, especially given the fact that they started in 17th and 18th.
“It was a pretty eventful opening lap, which put us immediately into 10th and 11th. From there, we managed to pick up more places in overtakes and move up to ninth and 10th.”
A different strategy allowed Massa to close right up to Sahara Force India F1 Team driver Esteban Ocon, but he was unable to get by the Mercedes powered VJM10, despite his best efforts.
Stroll came under pressure from Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen and Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver Jolyon Palmer towards the end of the race, but was able to hang on in there, to take the final points on offer; in what Lowe felt was a positive race for the squad, after the disappointment of qualifying on Saturday.
“Our strategy was to run for longer on the harder tyres and then finish with a shorter stint on the ultra-soft, which meant we were able to attack Esteban Ocon at the end, but we were unfortunately unable to make the position.
“Equally, Lance defended really well against Magnussen and Palmer to take his third points finish in a row. So overall, we certainly ended the weekend on a much better note than it felt like we would yesterday.”