Saturday, 18 April 2015

Third row lock out for the Williams Martini Racing Team in Bahrain

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

The Williams Martini Racing Team head into tomorrow’s Bahrain night race with Valtteri Bottas starting the race from fifth place while Felipe Massa will start the race sixth on the grid respectively. 

The result was a reserve from last weekend when the pair qualified ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari and while the Finn got past the pair at the start, Bottas and Massa will hope to get past the Iceman at the start tomorrow.

Speaking following the session Valtteri Bottas stated:

We are a little closer to the Ferrari in front but I expected a bit more, I’m not unhappy to get P5 as it is representative of our pace. The race is long and will be tougher than today, the start will be especially important considering Turn One can produce problems. As a team we did a good job, we got the best out of the tyres and it is refreshing to finally to get a clean qualifying session.

Felipe Massa goes into tomorrow’s race after Rob Smedley stated earlier this week that the Brazilian is driving at the levels he was racing at in 2008 when he narrowly missed out on winning the championship to Lewis Hamilton. Massa will start the race on the third row of the grid in sixth place. Speaking following the session, he stated:

I did a great lap in Q2, so was upset not to replicate this in Q3 after a few mistakes. The best position I could have achieved today was P5 and Valtteri has that, so the cars are where they should be. Overtaking is possible here so we can have a good race, but tyre management and strategy will be important. I am not unhappy, we are not out of position and there is a long race ahead tomorrow.

Williams Martini Racing are currently in third place in the Constructors championship 31 points behind Scuderia Ferrari. The Grove based outfit’s Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley stated:

It was a good qualifying for us, our cars are fifth and sixth quickest out there and we also saved tyres for the race. The team has worked well together, probably the best we have all year. We have maximised the potential from qualifying and have set ourselves up well for the race but we do still need a bit more performance out of the package to fight with the cars in front.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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