Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley says the team showed "great resolve" in holding on to a podium in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa finished third at Interlagos despite a five second stop/go penalty for speeding in the pit lane and also a trip through the McLaren pit box. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas also had a tricky race, enduring a long second stop due to some loose belts, but with both cars finishing in the points Smedley said the team maximised the result despite its problems.

"There was a lot of just little, niggly things that were thrown at us," Smedley said. "Whether we created them ourselves like with Felipe's pit stops and stuff like that or whether it was just through force majeure or whatever you want to call it ... there were just a lot of little things that were thrown at us and it wasn't a particularly easy Sunday afternoon.

Related Articles

"What I would say is to come out of that with a podium and 16 points, making two points on fourth place and similar on fifth place I think showed great resolve from the team. To manage things dynamically, to not cave in under pressure, to keep looking how we're going to get that last point and eke every single little bit out of it.

"So yes, it was a very difficult day but I'm pretty proud of how we held it together when everything around us was falling apart."

And Smedley said he would class Brazil as one of the best races he has seen from Williams so far this season.

"It was certainly a very good one. Races like this are character building. Ross Brawn always used to say to me back in the old days at Ferrari when we used to have bad races: 'They're character building, Rob', and these ones certainly are.

"The main thing is that you don't cave in under pressure. We could have absolutely caved in and got no points on Valtteri's car, we could have quite easily lost that podium on Felipe's car with everything that was going on around the pit stops, and we didn't.

"We held our nerve and we knew when to stop. The first pit stops were spot on, we were the first cars in out of the leading pack which meant we could get both of our cars in and out before McLaren could get Jenson in and out. That's what it's all about, we just have to keep going onwards and getting stronger and stronger."