Felipe Massa was left frustrated after a combination of a conservative strategy and late-race rain denied the Williams team of a well-deserved victory at Silverstone.
Massa led the race during the first stint, having passed both the Mercedes drivers with an excellent start from third on the grid. But pitting a lap earlier allowed Hamilton to pass Massa for the race lead, with a wet end to the race dropping the Brazilian down in fourth place and outside the podium finishers.
Massa was delighted to see the Williams FW37 match the Mercedes on pace and believes he had a shot at victory, had it stayed dry throughout the race.
“It is a frustrating result because the race was amazing today,’’ the 34 year old was quoted after the race. “I had a fantastic start and we were fighting with Mercedes the whole time, it could even have been possible to win the race if it had stayed dry, which is great to see. It was a shame to lost positions in the rain. We waited one lap longer on the second stop which is where we lost the opportunity to be on the podium. That shower also highlighted the car’s weakness in the wet.”
Valtteri Bottas was equalled frustrated with the outcome of the race but didn’t complain about being prevented from passing Massa, when he was faster than the Brazilian.
“In some ways it was an incredibly frustrating race, and others it was very pleasing. Both cars had great starts and we raced the Mercedes with genuine pace, but when the rain came I really struggled with the intermediate tyre.”
“I was allowed to race Felipe, but it was hard to get through, and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. We have to have a look the race data and make sure we continue to learn from this,’’ Bottas said.
Williams’s head of performance was more conservative with his choice of words, and asked the team to remain positive.
“There were a few moments in the race where things didn’t go our way. We have to remain positive and proud of our result,’’ said Smedley. “The pace we showed throughout this weekend was great, we had a stunning race up until the rain came. We raced two cars against both Mercedes for a majority of the race which shows the hard work and upgrades we are bringing to the car are all working. We closed the gap on second position and moved further ahead of fourth, so it has been a good weekend.”