Revitalized Williams not settling for second place

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 06, 2014 2:26 PM

By Keith Weir

SILVERSTONE England (Reuters) - Seeking to build on their revival as a force in Formula One, Williams said they were not content with a second place finish for Valtteri Bottas at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

It was a day of mixed emotions for the former champions who lost driver Felipe Massa on the first lap when he was caught up in the aftermath of a heavy crash involving Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and had to retire.

Bottas saved the day when he moved up through the field after starting in 14th place to finish as runner-up to Briton Lewis Hamilton, the best result of his career.

"The cup is half full," said Rob Smedley, head of vehicle performance at Williams.

"I'm hugely disappointed to have a car that quick and only have one of them finish," he told reporters.

Williams are fourth in the constructors championship, having already amassed 103 points following last year's miserable haul of just five all season.

They are now have their sights on third place, with just three points separating them from Ferrari.

Smedley, who joined Williams this season after previously working as Massa's race engineer at Ferrari, said that the team had more work to do to maintain their improvement.

"The message is that it was good but it's not good enough, so keep pushing," he added.

The mood around the Williams team, which has Italian drinks company Martini as its lead sponsor, has been transformed over the last few months.

Smedley praised Bottas, the 24-year-old from Finland who has now been on the podium in the last two races.

"He's a great driver. His racecraft is phenomenal and he's super quick," said Smedley, saying he had the potential to become an exceptional driver.

There was little to celebrate for Brazil's Massa who was racing in his 200th grand prix. He got off to a bad start because of problems with his clutch and then found his race cut short before it had really begun.

"The car was flying," he said, reflecting on what might have been.

"Today we would have both finished on the podium."

(Editing by Alan Baldwin)