Massa: Williams got it wrong in Bahrain GP

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Watching the Bahrain Grand Prix, I was trying to understand why Williams were drifting backwards and I did manage to grasp the concept of Valtteri Bottas and a damaged car but couldn’t understand Felipe Massa’s 2-stopper on mediums. Apparently he couldn’t either:

“I started really well but it didn’t finish the way we started,” Massa said.

“I was so happy after Turn 1, after going from seventh to second, and so I’m disappointed I finished eighth.

“Definitely we did not do the right strategy compared to the other teams.

“We tried a two-stop strategy but the pace was so slow.

“I don’t believe we could have been on the podium, but it was possible to fight [Daniel] Ricciardo for fourth.

“We just chose the wrong strategy. The pace of the car on the mediums was so slow – we couldn’t do anything.”

As an armchair team boss, I know that in real time things are more difficult but I did watch Lewis Hamilton’s struggles on the medium compounds and other team tacked to make the right call. I wonder why Williams were not able to change Felipe’s strategy and go for Super Soft or Soft compounds?

Again, it’s easy to render judgment here and that’s not fair on my part but still, when you’re 3rd in the championship and looking to hold on to that, getting jiggy with it with regards to strategy doesn’t exactly equate.

When Massa was running high in the order and you had Bottas drifting backwards and handed a penalty, I would assume you start trying to come up with ways to maximize the second driver’s race. I’m sure they thought about that but Massa doesn’t seem to think it was the best call. Neither do I.



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This is just the first in a long line of strategic errors that has cost Williams points. I get that they strive to “play is safe” but they seem to cross that line into “making errors” more often than not.


Mercedes were saying earlier in the weekend that the cooler than expected temperatures would cause training on the softer compounds. They were worried as they didn’t have many sets of medium compound tyres. It looks like Williams planned a split strategy across its drivers, with Massa on the perceived optimum two stop. I suppose that once they committed to the two stop by putting the medium on, the only other option would have been to change to a three stop like Hamilton. However, Williams didn’t have any fresh super soft left (they had done an unnecessary extra run in Q2… Read more »

charlie white

I’m patiently waiting for this week’s Pat Symonds complaint about Haas F1 and its incorrect/illegal entry in F1. And with Sauber supposedly circling the financial drain, Monisha Kalterborn will be vocal about it, too.

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