Valtteri Bottas had without doubt been the star of qualifying in Canada on Saturday, as he and the Williams F1 team adroitly handed the tricky changeable conditions of an unseasonably cold and wet June day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Out of it they wrangled third place on the grid just behind Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Knowing that the dry and much warmer weather on Sunday would not be to their advantage, all Williams had to do was hope that Bottas could use his elevated track position to good effect and not loose too much ground early on.
Unfortunately those hopes started to be dashed going into the very first corner when a pincer movement from Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg dropping Bottas down to fifth almost before the Finn knew what had hit him. A few corners later and the superior engine power of the Ferrari allowed Fernando Alonso to fly past him. Botas briefly stablised in sixth place but he was at the head of a pack of eager cars all clearly faster than him. The long decent to a 14th place finish had begun.
"We knew Valtteri's grid position was not representative of our current pace, but we had hoped to be able to challenge for some points," admitted Williams technical director Mike Coughlan. "Valtteri drove a solid race without making any mistakes, but ultimately the pace wasn't in the car to enable him to hold a top ten position today."
"We fought hard to try and secure some points today but ultimately we just didn't have the pace in the car," agreed Bottas. "I didn't get a great start which allowed a few cars to jump me on the first lap, and in the dry conditions we simply couldn't match the level of competitiveness we showed yesterday.
"Nevertheless I feel like I have learnt a lot from the race today and as a team we can take positives from the weekend," he added. "Hopefully we can continue to make progress and have a stronger race at Silverstone with the home crowd cheering us on."
His team mate Pastor Maldonado started from 13th position on the grid, and also fell backwards during the race to 16th, partly due to a drive-thru penalty he received for hitting the back of Adrian Sutil's Force India early in the race which also cost him his front wing.
"We were expecting a better result today in the race," he admitted. "We knew we didn't have the top speed to challenge at the front, but we struggled for pace right from the beginning of the race.
"The car felt better in the wet conditions compared to the dry hot weather we saw today so we need to understand why," he added. "After the good result with Valtteri yesterday, it was a tough weekend for us to end with neither car in the points.
"There are now three weeks until the next race so we need to keep working to improve our overall race performance," he said.