Saturday, 19 July 2014

Williams best of the rest in qualifying

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

The Williams Martini Racing Team went into today's qualifying session for the German Grand Prix following a mixed result for the Grove based outfit last time out at their home Grand Prix in Silverstone. On the one hand they were delighted as Valtteri Bottas finished the race in 2nd place behind race winner Lewis Hamilton to secure his second podium of the season. On the other hand Felipe Massa was left disappointed after being forced to retire from his 200th Grand Prix.

Fat forward two weeks and it looked as though the team were going to struggle this weekend after Felipe Massa finished Friday morning's practice session in 11th place while Susie Wolff finished the session in 15th. It was her second Friday session in succession following her all too brief outing in Silverstone.

In free practice two Felipe Massa finished in 6th place while Valtteri Bottas finished the session in 10th place. This morning, Felipe Massa finished the session in fourth place while Valtteri Bottas ended the session 5th place. This showed that the team had made steady progress throughout the weekend so far. In qualifying Valtteri Bottas delivered a fantastic lap in Q3 to qualify on the front row beside pole sitter Mercedes Nico Rosberg missing out by just 0.219s. Speaking at the conclusion of the session the Finn said:

'The car was feeling great today and it is ready for the race, so as a team we are pleased with the result. The last lap I had was almost perfect so I can’t fault the session. The Mercedes are still a bit quicker than us, but we are going to work hard tomorrow to get in front but it will be difficult. The aim tomorrow is to keep ahead of the Ferrari's and Red Bulls and hopefully the cooler temperatures predicted will play into our hands.'

It was a great session for Felipe Massa as the Brazilian will start the race from third on the grid and following the session Massa, who is in search of his first podium for the Williams Martini Racing team said:

'It was a very positive qualifying for us. I didn’t get the perfect lap, but we are second and third, so there are no complaints. The race will be difficult so today was more important than usual and so I am delighted with the result. Hopefully we can continue this forward and have a positive day tomorrow as well.'

The team go into tomorrow's race in fourth place in the Constructors just three points behind Ferrari. The Italian team had a difficult qualifying session as Fernando Alonso will start the race from 7th on the grid while Kimi Raikkonen will start the race from 12th place. It is the perfect opportunity for the Williams team to capitalize on their performance in qualifying as they hve proven that the FW36 has the race pace to compete at the front.

Speaking following today's session Williams head of performance engineering Rob Smedley said:

'It was a good job by the team and a good result. We have maximised our performance throughout the weekend and the drivers did the work today to set us up well for tomorrow. Qualifying is important here and we have showed we have good race pace so it’s now time to convert that into points, and hopefully further improve our championship position.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

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