Felipe Massa finished eighth and Valtteri Bottas 13th in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Both drivers were able to make up positions after the first lap, during the short first stint of the race on the super soft tyre. Massa spent most of the race in a battle for seventh place. He passed Kvyat for P8 in the final stint but was unable to catch Hulkenberg before the finish.
Bottas made contact with Button in his first pit stop, damaging his front wing. He had to pit again for a new nose and later serve a five-second penalty, which dropped him down the field. Bottas and Massa clinched fifth and sixth places in the Drivers’ Championship, with the team having already sealed third in the Constructors’.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “It wasn’t the way we wanted to end our season, so we will go away and analyse how we could have done better at this race. We seemed to go forward in pace compared to Force India and Red Bull, but starting behind them in qualifying didn’t help us. We shouldn’t dwell on this race too much, we’ve had a really good season and finished a solid third again, which is important to the growth of the team. I’m incredibly proud of the way this team is constantly growing and improving. Our focus has been on the 2016 car for quite a long time, now we’ve got a long winter ahead and we have to come out the starting blocks in a full sprint next year.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a very tough race, but not much happened apart from trying to overtake a car with very similar pace. We didn’t have the pace we wanted and we’ve paid the price in the last few races. This is a poor way to end the season, but it is a good motivator to come back strong in 2016. The guys are working hard so we hope to make gains over the winter.”
Valtteri Bottas: “Of course that was not the way we wanted to finish the season. But in the end this could be good – it was a proper wake-up call that we really need to raise our game if we want to challenge for the wins next year. We all know the facts, we need to find big gains with the car during the winter, and there are operational things we need to do better. Everyone knows it and we are fully motivated to fix these things and have a much better season next year. I need to say a big thank you to everyone in the team because we achieved third place in the Constructors’ and with this team I managed to be fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship. This season gave me some good things to remember, like a couple of very special podiums, but we want more so none of us are fully satisfied yet.”