Paddy Lowe saw Williams Martini Racing consolidate their position over the chasing pack for fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix thanks to Lance Stroll’s sixth place finish, but it could have been even better had Felipe Massa not suffered an early puncture.
With just two races remaining of the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, Williams hold a twenty-three-point lead over Scuderia Toro Rosso, while Renault Sport Formula 1 Team and Haas F1 Team are five and six points further back in seventh and eighth position.
However, had it not been for the early puncture for Massa, Chief Technical Officer Lowe felt the advantage could have been greater, with the Brazilian being forced to settle for eleventh, just outside the points.
“We had a good start and both cars got into reasonably good positions, apparently without damage, but that proved not to be the case,” said Lowe.
“Felipe had a slow puncture from some minor contact in the first corner and we had to box him on the second lap.
“We fitted prime tyres to go the end. We were reasonably confident that tyre would go the distance and Felipe managed it very well. He had good pace throughout the entire race and if not for [Sebastian] Vettel and [Lewis] Hamilton coming through from the back, he would have perhaps got a point or two.
“So it was a shame for Felipe because the car was there to get points today and he drove extremely well.”
It was a much better result on the other side of the garage however, with Stroll claiming an excellent sixth, finishing right behind fifth placed Esteban Ocon, and although the Canadian had some luck with the timing of the virtual safety car, Lowe felt it was a great result for the now-nineteen-year-old.
“On Lance’s side, he showed strong pace and ran a great first stint on the Ultrasoft tyre,” said Lowe. “He had some good fortune with the Virtual Safety Car which actually gained him a place over [Sergio] Perez.
“We were also able to fit the Supersoft tyre at that stage to go to the end, so we had the tyre life and compound advantage over the two Force Indias. At one point it looked possible he could have taken the position off Ocon but it was just out of reach.
“It was a great sixth place finish though so Happy Birthday to Lance and well done for a great achievement today!”
Lowe was happy that the eight points further increased their advantage in fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship, particularly as neither Toro Rosso or the Renault achieved a top ten finish.
“We’ve taken some further advantage in our fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship and well done to the team for getting two cars home and in good shape to go into the final two races,” said Lowe.
Lowe also had time to praise Lewis Hamilton for winning the 2017 Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship in Mexico, with the former Mercedes employee feeling the title win for the current Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer is well deserved.
“Finally, congratulations to Lewis for his fourth World Championship, he drove a terrific season and it’s very well deserved,” insisted Lowe.