Williams’ Felipe Massa finished fourth in today’s Australian Grand Prix. Starting in third and opting for a one-stop strategy, Massa lost a place to the Ferrari of Vettel after being jumped at the first pitstop, but after that showed consistent pace to bring the car home with 12 points to start the 2015 season. Valtteri Bottas was unable to race following a lower back injury sustained during qualifying. Following an evaluation by the FIA’s medical team and following a series of tests the FIA Medical Delegate deemed him unfit to take part in today’s race.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “It’s always difficult to compete with only 50 per cent of your armoury with Valtteri having to miss the race, so today was about damage limitation in the Constructors’ Championship and we have managed to come away only a few points behind Ferrari which is a decent result. The team worked very well as a unit all weekend; the pitstop was good and so was the work on the pitwall. We made a decision to pit early because Vettel was a bit quicker behind us, but unfortunately this didn’t pay off for us. We are in a really competitive battle with the teams around us so this race is a marker for the rest of the season. We need to continue improving the car and getting maximum performance from what is a strong package.”
Felipe Massa: “The aim of today was to start the season with a solid points haul and demonstrate that we have a competitive car. We have managed to achieve much of what we wanted so this has been a positive start. The only disappointing part of the race was that I was jumped at the first pitstop by Vettel after losing a second and a half behind Ricciardo on my out-lap which was enough to lose the position. I have faith in the team and the car and we head to Malaysia knowing we are very much in the fight.”
Valtteri Bottas: “I have done a lot of work since the issue with my back came in qualifying to get myself ready, starting treatment immediately, so the news that I couldn’t race today was obviously disappointing but I respect the decision. I now have two weeks until the next race to receive further treatment to ensure I will be back to full fitness and even stronger in Malaysia. I’m very eager to get back in the car and race because the FW37 is looking competitive and I’m confident we can fight for podiums.”