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Pole for Massa, Podium for Bottas: Williams Austrian GP Review

After the shocker that was Canada, Williams Racing really needed a result. And they definitely got one of those, recording their first pole position and podium since the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix and their first front-row lockout since the 2003 German Grand Prix. Felipe Massa achieved his first pole position since his horrible accident years ago and Valtteri Bottas added his name to drivers to achieve a podium finish in Formula One.

Williams finally got everything right in Austria as the circuit not only suited their car, but the increasing temperature played into their hands, forcing everybody into a 2-stop strategy. Mercedes messing up qualifying allowed a front-row lockout and the team achieved a third and a fourth place result, giving them the highest number of points that they have ever scored in a race thanks to the current points system.

Williams Austrian GP Review

No. 19 Felipe Massa (BRA)
Grid: P1
Race: P4

Massa took a fantastic pole position on Saturday by making fewer mistakes than his nearest rivals. Former team mate Fernando Alonso then claimed he was the ‘quickest team mate he’s ever had’. He made a good start but a combination of poor pit stops and poor race pace meant he gradually dropped back during the race, behind the really fast charging Lewis Hamilton and his team mate and nearly into the clutches of Alonso. Massa might get another chance to score a podium, especially if there are more performances to come from Williams.

No. 77 Valtteri Bottas (FIN)
Grid: P2
Race: P3

The young Flying Finn was probably my star of the race. He was very unhappy with himself to miss out on what would have been his first pole position but still achieved his best grid slot to date. He didn’t have a brilliant start and lost out to Nico Rosberg but took the place back with the excellent Williams top speed. Unlike Massa, he was able to keep up with the two Mercedes for the majority of the race but dropped back a bit towards the end, but still recorded a ‘very important’ first podium for himself and the first for Williams-Mercedes. I am sure it will be the first of many for Bottas who reminds me a bit of a young Mika Hakkinen.

On this high, Williams will be hoping for a similar result at Silverstone, the team’s home race. Silverstone is another fast circuit but the high amount of fast corners could be tough for the car. The team are now in well up in that fight for fourth which could become third with Kimi Raikkonen’s point tally hampering Ferrari. To finish third after the disaster that was last season would be absolutely fantastic in a money sense for Williams, who are still in a process of rebuilding the team, but they have finally delivered their promise in achieving a podium finish.

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