Paddy Lowe: “It was a tough race with some very competitive racing”


Paddy Lowe's first season back at Williams saw the team finish in fifth place in the constructors'. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Williams Martini Racing chief technical officer, Paddy Lowe said “we didn’t have the pace today” as the team ended the 2017 Formula 1 season with another points finish.

Drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll both started the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres from 10th and 15th respectively, but while Massa was able to take the final chequered flag of his career in 10th place to haul one point, Stroll had a difficult afternoon at the Yas Marina circuit, coming home last, in 18th place.

Describing Massa’s 269th and final Grand Prix start, Lowe said: “It was a tough race with some very competitive racing. We had a close fight with Fernando (Alonso) in the opening lap and then later on in the race around the pit-stops.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today to stay ahead. We ran out of energy on the out-lap, which is why Fernando was able to get past as they came out of the pits, but we scored a point and points is what it’s all about.”

While Massa was able to score points, Lowe explained that: “It was a much tougher afternoon for Lance. He didn’t have the pace today.”

Lowe continued: “He had a good start and got up to 13th with some good opening laps but finally lost position to (Romain) Grosjean after a very close fight. He then had a big lock up, so we boxed early for the first tyre change.From there the race really went backwards due to additional pit-stops and two more lock-ups whilst fighting for position, so not a weekend to remember.”

Chief technical officer Lowe also paid tribute to the retiring Massa. He said: “We were determined to finish the season on a high. There was a lot of emotion in the camp around Felipe’s last drive for the team after such a great career in Formula One.

“I’m happy for Felipe and for the team to finish that way.” – (by scoring the points finish.)

Williams end the 2017 season in fifth place in the constructors’ standings, for the second successive season, having hauled 83 points.

The best finish for the team was Stroll’s third place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Massa’s best result being sixth in Australia and Bahrain.