6 October 2014
F1 Japanese Grand Prix: Sixth and seventh the maximum for Williams
Valtteri Bottas admits that, in the conditions, there was little Williams could do to preserve its starting positions in the Japanese F1 Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas admits that sixth and seventh places were probably the best that Williams could have hoped for in the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Finn led team-mate Felipe Massa across the line at the end of a 44-lap encounter shortened by a combination of worsening conditions and the accident that befell Jules Bianchi, but admitted that, despite having started on the second row, there had been no way to resist the two Red Bulls once the weather turned against the FW36.
“I don't think it was set-up,” Bottas reflected, “We were quick in the dry and it's just the time we spend in the corners in the wet is so much longer and, as we have seen, we are so much slower than Red Bull in the corners. We're quicker on the straights, but the time we gained on the straights in the wet wasn't enough to recover the losses we had in the corners - and we spent a lot of time in the corners!
“Especially in the first sector, they were very, very quick there. It was a good battle and I tried to defend as best I could but, in the end, they were just too quick – that's it!
“I think, as a team, we did a good job with the car we had and sixth and seventh, with the car we had today, that was the maximum. Today shows that we still need to keep pushing with the aero – we've made improvements and, without the upgrades [brought to Suzuka], we would have struggled even more, but we need to keep working on that.”
With the leading runners acknowledging that different cars would have coped differently with the conditions at the end of the race, Bottas confirmed that, in his view, things were becoming marginal at the time the race was stopped.
“I think there's been more difficult track conditions than this, but this is a difficult track in the wet, so I'm not the one to say if it was safe enough or not,” he conceded, “It was starting to be on the limit, but I'm not the one to charge whether it is good to go or not.
“The whole race was tough but, in the beginning and at the end, when there was more water, it was difficult. It was starting to be on the limit and, at turn seven and the exit of turn eleven, the hairpin, if you got a bit off the line, you just aquaplaned.
“Until [the red flag], the race was going okay - there was nothing special happening. It was all okay, and it was just a really, really unlucky situation. If it's wet, it's always going to be tough and [you can] easily go off, but what happened today was just really, really unlucky.”
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