Valtteri Bottas finished sixth and Felipe Massa 10th in the European Grand Prix. Bottas made a one-stop strategy work and ran as high as third before making his stop on lap 19. He was able to manage his tyres and strategy well to stay ahead of the two-stoppers and finish sixth. Massa had to run a two-stop strategy due to tyre graining. He was fifth before his first stop on lap 7, and sixth before his final stop on lap 28, but he continued to struggle with his tyres and finished 10th.
The team collected nine points in the Constructors’ Championship, while Bottas retains seventh in the Driver’s Championship and Massa drops to ninth behind Perez.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “That was nowhere near what we expected from this race. Valtteri being ninth in that first stint didn’t help us, but he was able to make a one-stop strategy work, as were all the top six. Felipe was struggling with rear graining in the first stint. Valtteri had a little bit of the same, to a lesser extent, and then his tyres came back and he was quite strong towards the end of that stint. He was going quicker and quicker so we could leave him out and he was able to get up to sixth, but it’s still a disappointing result.
“The team did a fantastic job with the pit stops, the strategy worked out and gained some positions for Valtteri but unfortunately we couldn’t do it for Felipe as well because of tyre degradation. The team is working really well, it’s the car’s pace that’s let us down. The main thing we need to take away from this race is that we were out of position, in terms of pace, compared to Force India. We’ve got to go away and understand why we weren’t quick enough, so that’s what we’ll concentrate on. We’ve got Austria coming up so we need to look forward.
Valtteri Bottas: “Overall, it was a good day for us because the pace we had today wasn’t enough for any more. It felt like a good race from my side, and we managed to do the one-stop strategy which was definitely the best one today. I’m glad we could manage the tyres and get it to work because that made the sixth place possible. The team did a really good job with what we had today, the strategy and the pitstop. Now we need to work hard because we need better positions than this. We need to make the car quicker and then we can fight for another podium soon.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a really terrible race for me, one to forget. I struggled massively with the tyres. I couldn’t make them work, I was having a lot more degradation on the rears than I thought I would. One point is more than it could have been because I couldn’t drive the car in the proper way and I couldn’t save the tyres either. We maybe need to change something in the car to make the tyres work in a different way here in the future.”