(Williams Martini Racing)
The Williams Martini Racing team were celebrating once again in Hockenheim after Valtteri Bottas drove a fantastic race to score his and the team's third podium finish in succession at the German Grand Prix. Bottas started the race from the front row alongside pole-sitter and race winner Nico Rosberg. The Finn drove extremely well and has now closed the gap to six points as he chases Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who is in 4th place in the championship. Speaking after the race Bottas said:
'I am really happy with the way the race went today. As a team we have been unlucky not to have both drivers on the podium as we had the pace. To keep a Mercedes behind at the end of the race was promising showing that it is possible, and the car is very strong. The engineers shared a lot of information with me about the tyres and where Hamilton was and that team work was the key to the good result. '
While Bottas finished on the podium, it was another disappointing race for his team mate Felipe Massa as theBrazilian retired from his second race in a row following a dramatic crash with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen at the start of the race as the field went into Turn one. The crash resulted in Massa's FW36 landing upside down at one point. Fortunately he walked away from the crash unhurt and will head to the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend hoping to bounce back from a disappointing weekend in Germany. After the race he said:
'Luckily I am ok but I am not happy. I was in front going into the corner, and so to have another race ended by another driver is not easy. I am doing my best, the team are doing their best, and we just aren’t getting the chances we need. Going into the first corner I was near to Valtteri but had to back off to stop an accident, sadly some others didn’t do the same. I am obviously very disappointed. Well done to Valtteri, it shows we have the car to get on the podium.'
The Williams team head to the Hungarian Grand Prix in a weeks time in third place in the Constructors championship having overtaken Ferrari following the podium finish for Bottas. The capped off a fantastic weekend for the entire team as their test and development driver Susie Wolff had a great outing for the team during her run in free practice one on Friday morning. The Scot finished the session in 15th place just two tenths of a second behind team mate Felipe Massa.
Speaking about today's result, Williams Martini Racing's Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley commented:
'We have only one car home today, so we are not as happy as we could be. However, Valtteri did a fantastic job and the guys on the pitwall were exceptional. We kept calm and did what we needed to do. Our strategy at times was different to others, but we kept our confidence and Valtteri pushed when we needed him to. We have overtaken Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship which is the reward for our continuing improvements. We just need that bad luck for Felipe to stop as our aim now is to get both cars on the podium.'
© Ben Johnston 2014