6 September 2015
F1 Italian Grand Prix: Bottas disappointed as podium bid falls 0.3s short
Williams took a good points haul away from the Italian Grand Prix, but that could not ease Valtteri Bottas' frustration at finishing fourth.
Valtteri Bottas' disappointment at narrowly failing to make it onto the Italian Grand Prix podium was obvious, but the Finn was at least able to acknowledge that improving his own position would not have helped Williams take more points from Monza.
The reason for that was that the man just ahead of Bottas was his team-mate Felipe Massa, as the pair once again indulged in a personal scrap, this time on the hallowed tarmac of the Autodromo Nazionale. Having run fourth early on, taking advantage of Nico Rosberg's poor getaway, the Finn opted to stay out on track when Mercedes pitted its driver, but fell behind the #6 machine when his own tyre change dragged by a few crucial tenths.
Stopping later, however, at least allowed Bottas the luxury of fresher tyres into the closing stages and he quickly closed on Massa, who had followed Rosberg's lead in an effort to avoid being caught out by the undercut. Having homed in on the Brazilian, however, Bottas found his team-mate in feisty mood, determined not to give up what became a podium spot when Rosberg retired with engine failure.
Just 0.3secs split the two Williams as they crossed the line after 53 laps and, while the veteran admitted that he might be 'getting too old' for such excitement, Bottas was left to rue not only the slow stop but a lack of horsepower on the run to the flag.
“You can always speculate afterwards, but I think the pace was really good at the end,” the Finn lamented, “It was a shame, but I lost power on the last lap with the MGU-K, so I lost the opportunity a bit there.
“I would much rather be on the podium than in fourth but, overall, it didn't make a difference for us as a team,” Bottas accepted, “It was [a good result for the team] and we did a good job, although the pit-stop was a bit slow and we lost some time there. Other than that, we did a good job.”
Massa's podium kept the Brazilian six points clear of his team-mate in the individual standings, while Williams cemented its hold on third overall in the teams' table.
“It was a good race for the team,” head of performance engineering Rob Smedley agreed, “The mandate from the start of the weekend was that we had to have a clean weekend. If there were 15 points on the table, we had to come away with 15 points, but the great news is that we've taken 27 points and a podium.
“We've moved away from the people behind us in fourth by a good amount, which was the absolute priority, and we've kept pace with Ferrari so, in championship terms, it's been a good weekend for us.”
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