Bottas says he had chances to pass Massa

2015 British Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas said he passed up chances to overtake team mate Felipe Massa because his team told him not to.

Bottas ran second behind his team mate in the opening stages of the British Grand Prix but was initially told by Williams not to overtake the team’s other car.

He was later told he could attack Massa, but by then he wasn’t able to get past. Afterwards Bottas told reporters he would “go through everything” with the team.

“Obviously when you’re not allowed to race and when you have more pace than the car in front it is difficult,” he said, “so we need to go through it.”

“At that point it felt like I had a bit more pace,” he explained. “I had one or two really good opportunities at that point when I was not allowed to race him.”

“So obviously for me it’s a bit disappointing. But for sure there’s some thinking behind it and we need to go through what could have been possible today.”

However Massa said the only reason Bottas appeared to be quicker than him at that stage was because Bottas was able to use his Drag Reduction System.

“No,” said Massa when he should have let Bottas through, “because with the hard tyres I was quicker, so it was definitely not the right thing to do.”

“He was on the DRS, with DRS it was much easier for him to follow me in the long straights. So definitely if we had both without the DRS, maybe he would have had similar pace. But on the hard tyres I was quicker.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    35 comments on “Bottas says he had chances to pass Massa”

    1. Well he should’ve taken those chances then! Real racers don’t obey like a dog and then moan about if afterwards.

      1. Sorry, I’d have loved to see Bottas win, but orders are orders. Remember what happens when you disobey orders? Think of Vettle in 2013, all the booing and claims of unsportsmanlike conduct, or even worse, Bottas may (not sure, as we haven’t seen his contract) be held in breach of contract for something like that, overtaking against orders.

        1. To be fair on Williams, they did at some point allow Bottas to race, which is when Bottas couldn’t get the move done. Unlike RBR who told a champion with an extra set of fresh tyres to hold station.

          1. Also Bottas would have lost the race on his wet weather pace relative to Massa’s anyway.

          2. They are employees! Racers yes, but they didnt make the vehicles and dont pay the checks at the end of the day… They are working for the team. Same as any employee working for a company, company tells you to do something and you disobey you get called/fired depending on the circumstances and seriousness…

        2. I thought Bottas actually tried to pass Massa even after the order. But then team repeated the order to hold position.

        3. The problem with Vettel wasn’t disobeying a team order. The problem was he was going back at his word and attacking a guy when he had his engine down.

    2. Williams was wrong to dictate when to race and when not to. We have race control to tell us that.
      Bottas was wrong to listen.

      1. No, team orders are perfectly legal. Whether one driver moves over for another in normal racing conditions has nothing to do with race control.

    3. If I were Felipe, I would have a clause on this topic in my contract.

      But I’m not.

    4. He stuck with Massa only beacause of the DRS zone, and he was ridicolous in the wet.

      Most overrated driver ever

      1. He’s still better than Kimi :P

      2. You didn’t watch any post race analysis then – Bottas would clearly gain through maggots and becketts and was faster in village and the loop. He simply had more pace. All he lacked was track position.

        1. what he lacked was champion’s ambition to win, ignore his team and go for glory.

        2. He was awful on the rain. Much, much slower than Massa.

          Now, imagine Massa letting him by, and he drops like a stone at the end like he did?

          That would only cause them bad press.

          1. Rick Lopez (@viscountviktor)
            6th July 2015, 15:53

            This is Massa in the wet aswell…

        3. All he lacked was track position.

          Wow… I mean…. yes, of course, there was another guy in front of him! And even when the team gave him the green light he was unable to pass.
          I like Bottas, but his view of what happened in Silverstone must be the lamest excuse of the season. He crumbled on the hard tire and disappeared in the wet.

      3. He was really bad in the wet. He’s always like that in the wet IIRC. But it seems Kvyat is good in wet. He maintained his position behind Vettel.

    5. Massa was slower simply because he didn’t have DRS. The team was right to avoid a fight. Mercedes was too close.

    6. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      5th July 2015, 15:58

      I kinda respect his choice to follow team orders but if he was capable of overtaking Massa I’d rather he just went ahead and did it. He certainly looked like he could.

      If true does make me wonder why Williams would stop him overtaking. If not true, wonder why Bottas is throwing his team under the bus.


      1. how would Botta have pass Massa when the Merc’s with far more pace than williams could not pass Botta or even each other???
        out of the top 4 no one was ever going to get passed anyone without conflict with another car,
        your all dreaming if you think Massa the most aggressive driver when he wants to be is going to let anyone passed unless its raining,
        in the wet the Williams is a dog so they ended up as good as they could have done considering the conditions and the crappy pit stops.

        1. That’s true, but then Ferrari are much closer to Force India, and while Raikkonen couldn’t overtake Hulkenberg, Vettel did manage it with Perez. I suspect there is something about Williams though, that makes them particularly hard to overtake, even off the straights. Something aerodynamic.

    7. To avoid this discussion next time, maybe Bottas can qualify better than Massa. He is also forgetting that the reason he was behing Massa was because Massa showed Hamilton very kindly the run-off area by the re-start.

    8. Bottas man Ferrari had already have Massa so if you plan to move there. better start beating him!

    9. PeterPegasus
      5th July 2015, 16:13

      Yeah, not a lot of respect for his race today. Running wide repeatedly at turn 3 or 4 was a huge mistake, which really cancelled out the excellent start and the overtake on Hamilton. If he had been faster than Massa, he would have overtaken – but he just barely wasn’t. His last stint was dreadful. Also outqualified by Massa. This race was very detrimental to his chances with Ferrari.

    10. If he looked quicker than Massa in the first stint, he definitely didn’t on the 2nd one.

      Other than that, Massa defended himself well on the DRS zones. On others sectors, Bottas never had any chance, so it’s not like he could pass if he wanted to. Of course he’ll never admit that.

    11. So the rumor is true….. Valteri has already signed for Ferrari……

      For sure Felipe was slower in the option but faster with the harder tyres. If you remember they run these combination of tyres in Friday during race sim in the first stint which likely means that was a driver preference.

      I can’t imagine that Valteri could complete an overtake but stop the move because the team said not to race. In my opinion they said not to race because the were afraid a contact, and in my opinion Bottas is always in the ragged edge or very close to it. His main talent is the feel of the tyres in combination to the surface. He is really fast but he usually makes little mistakes under pressure, mainly in qualy. Felipe also has the better of him in the starts.

      So I am expecting Ferrari’s news for signing Valteri in Monza and Kimi’s news for being a stay home dad even sooner!

    12. This has nothing to do with “proving you can pass on the track” or “just doing it.” Bottas is a team player, and I like that. Trying to get past a teammate even with DRS this season is too risky, it requires aggressive moves that risk contact and ending one or both races. We have seen how hard it is to overtake this season even with clear pace advantage and DRS. Plus a fighting overtake slows down both cars, and can compromise the overtaken car so much that other following cars can take advantage and go past. This is a team sport, so the TEAM has to think quickly and creatively. The best way to pull a gap is have your faster car go off into the distance while the slower car hold up your closest competitors. If the faster car is second, that means you let him go by the cleanest way possible, meaning with DRS, on the straight without lifting and losing momentum, so that the overtaken car can slip into his slipstream seamlessly. This was the perfect instance to take advantage of TEAMWORK– 2 cars with the pace to fight with the Mercs, plus track position. But it requires a clear understanding by the both the team and drivers beforehand as to what kind of strategy will come into play and what will be expected of the drivers, and smooth execution without complaint on track. You work together to get away in the early stages of the race in order to have the chance to fight it out later. Williams has got to seize these opportunities when they come up, because it’s not that often.

    13. It’s not clear that Bottas could have extended a lead over the Mercs any more than Massa did. The bigger mistake for Williams was letting Hamilton get the undercut on the first pit stop.

      1. @bullmello Yes, not clear, but I think he could have, as I think Massa would have bogged down the Mercs. Bottas was quicker than Massa even on the parts of the track that did not involve DRS. I agree with you, second mistake was letting Hamilton get the undercut. Williams should have pitted their lead driver first, had Bottas hold up the Mercs, and given themselves a chance to maintain the lead with at least one car. Again, no clear thinking (meaning no winning thinking) from Williams. You have to be “in charge” of your drivers, give them a clear strategy especially in the early laps, and then let them fight it out later. Too conservative, not creative.

        1. Agree with you. But one problem is no team principal on their pit wall, so I think no engineer (even Symonds) “wants” order one to let another pass, or order one slow down to block the cars behind. I think their senior engineers can only order drivers to race or stop racing each other for some reasons.
          But I really love this team philosophy even if it maybe has cost them one win(Austria 2014)

        2. @slowhands – Right, Williams were reacting instead of taking action. They appeared to be as surprised as the rest of us at leading the Mercs.

    14. @slowhands – Right, Williams were reacting instead of taking action. They appeared to be as surprised as the rest of us at leading the Mercs.

    15. Bottas should admit that even when Williams let him race AND when he had the benefit of DRS, he failed to pass Massa.
      After the first lap Williams found itself with both cars ahead of the Mercedes and tried to avoid an internal battle. I guess the only team that can have the luxury of letting their drivers races when they are leading is Mercedes. ANY team that today on lap one had both cars ahead of the Mercedes would ‘be done the same.
      Bottas had the DRS in his hands and failed to pass his teammate.

    16. rafael martins
      6th July 2015, 22:43

      He attempted to pass Massa, even when he told not to. He will never accept the second pilot “virtual” role at Willians. But if he goes to Ferrari he will be a eternal “real” second driver.

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