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F1 United States Grand Prix: Double DNF disaster 'disappoints' Williams

Williams suffered a United States Grand Prix to forget after a double retirement due to separate rear suspension failures.
Williams suffered a United States Grand Prix to forget after a double retirement due to separate rear suspension failures which head of performance engineering Rob Smedley is keen to rectify next weekend in Mexico.

The race in Austin got off to the worst possible start with both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa involved in first corner collisions, with the Finnish driver needing to pit due to front wing damage.

Bottas' gamble to switch to dry tyres during his early stoppage backfired badly as he was forced to return to the pits to change back to intermediates, but it was all in vain as he suffered damper failure shortly after to rule him out of the running.

It quickly became double disappointment for Williams after Massa's fightback was ended when he also struggled with damper issues and had to retire from the race.

“A truly disappointing weekend for us to finish with no points,” Smedley said. “Valtteri was very quickly into retirement from a rear suspension failure. Felipe had good pace on the intermediate, we stopped him to fit the dry tyre and things were looking positive until he retired with the same problem.”

"It was a disappointing race," Massa added. "The first corner was very difficult with many things happening. I was involved in an accident which damaged the right side of my car.

"I carried on and was catching the cars in front but we had a problem with the damper, on both cars actually, so we had to stop. It's not a nice weekend for all of us, so we need to concentrate on the next one."

Smedley adds he hopes the team can bounce back almost instantly with the second race of the stint in Mexico in a few days time and hold on to third place in the F1 Constructors' championship from Red Bull. The Milton Keynes-based team also endured a difficult US GP with only Daniel Ricciardo scoring a solitary point in 10th to snip the deficit to Williams to 70 points with three races remaining.

“It's bitterly disappointing, but there are three races to go and we have to bounce back to extend that gap to Red Bull. Mexico is a new circuit for everybody, the team has to remain positive and do the absolute best that we can.”

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