How should Williams have handled Massa and Bottas?

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The British Grand Prix began with the unusual sight of the two Williams cars leading the field.

By the end Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas had slipped to fourth and fifth places. But could the team have had a stronger result had they managed their drivers more effectively at the beginning of the race?

Bottas repeatedly tried to overtake Massa during the first half of the race. He was unable to pass his team mate, and with Lewis Hamilton following close behind the Mercedes driver was able to jump past both of the Williams drivers at the first pit stop.

Had the race run its course without the rain shower that followed, this would have been a decisive moment.

It’s not the first time Williams have faced a tricky call over team orders with their current driver pairing. In Malaysia last year Massa was initially told to let Bottas past, but refused.

This time Bottas was initially forbidden from trying to pass Massa. However the pit wall then reversed its position, allowing Bottas to attack. However by the time they had done so he felt his best opportunity to get ahead had passed.

Here’s what was broadcast from the Williams team radio at this vital point in the race:

7Dave RobsonFelipe MassaFelipe this is good, very good. Just need to look after the front-left tyre.
9Dave RobsonFelipe MassaOK Felipe this is good. So we are not racing with your team mate let’s pull away together. We need to pull away together from the Mercs.
9Jonathan EddollsValtteri BottasInstruction: No racing your team mate for now.
9Valtteri BottasJonathan EddollsI have more pace.
9Jonathan EddollsValtteri BottasCopy. No racing for now. We’ll keep you advised.
11Valtteri BottasJonathan EddollsOn lap ten Bottas drew alongside Massa on the entry to Stowe but dropped back behind him as they arrived at Club.
Can I overtake? I can do it in the back straight. Tell me.
11Jonathan EddollsValtteri BottasYes.
11Valtteri BottasJonathan EddollsRepeat.
11Jonathan EddollsValtteri BottasYes, you can.
11Valtteri BottasJonathan EddollsThat was too late.
11Jonathan EddollsValtteri BottasIt has to be a very clean move,. And you need to pull away when you are in front. Clean move.
11Valtteri BottasJonathan EddollsCopy.
11Dave RobsonFelipe MassaOK Felipe so Valterri is going to try and attack you on the back straight, he will try and attack you with DRS.

*Lap on which the message was broadcast on television

Afterwards Massa insisted he’d been quicker than Bottas, and his team mate had only appeared faster because he had the benefit of DRS. However Bottas had fallen out of DRS range at one point, but was able to close on his team mate again.

Should Williams therefore have let Bottas past? Should they have stuck to the original decision to tell them to hold position? Or was their eventual call to let their drivers sort it out between themselves the right one?

I say

The most surprising thing about this episode was not that Williams originally forbade their drivers from racing each other, but that the pit wall changed the instruction. They can only have done this because they realised they were in greater danger of losing a position to the Mercedes through Massa holding Bottas up than through Bottas attacking Massa, slowing them both down.

Attempting to manage the situation ‘dynamically’, by giving one set of instructions and then revising them, doesn’t seem to be the best way of handling it. Bottas ended up telling his race engineer the change of policy had come too late. That probably cost him a chance to get ahead, potentially strengthening the team’s position.

For that reason, as well as out of simple fairness to their drivers and out of respect for their ability to race without hitting each other, I always prefer to see teams let their drivers fight for position.

You say

How should Williams have handled the fight between their drivers at Silverstone? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

How should Williams have handled Massa and Bottas?

  • No opinion (2%)
  • Williams should have let their drivers race (56%)
  • Williams should have let Bottas pass Massa (36%)
  • Williams should have told Bottas to stay behind Massa (6%)

Total Voters: 389

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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121 comments on “How should Williams have handled Massa and Bottas?”

  1. René (@renevdkooij)
    5th July 2015, 20:20

    Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you.

    1. In the first stint only.

    2. Come on people stop that nonsense!!For god shake’s it’s been 5 years..
      But on the subject Bottas wasn’t faster than Massa and I doubt that he could build the lead that was necessary for the pit-stops, he had the DRS every lap, at some point on the first stint they showed a comperative graph between Massa and Bottas and it showed that Bottas was faster than Massa in the first and third sector where he had the DRS but not in the second.. Plus, in the second stint Massa was easily faster than Bottas and was pulling away from them. I think the best should have been to pit Massa with Hamilton or before and maybe without the rain he could have won.

      1. Exactly. Spot on.

      2. “This time Bottas was initially forbidden from trying to pass Massa. However the pit wall then reversed its position, allowing Bottas to attack. However by the time they had done so he felt his best opportunity to get ahead had passed”…. On lap 9, Williams told Bottas not to attack, on lap 11 they reversed their position (and Valteri tried to pass Felipe in between those 2 events anyway). Bottas tried several times to overtake Massa, for a about 20 laps or so. He didn’t do it because he wasn’t able to do it – and he was only pressing because of the double DRS zones. And now we have to hear this canard that if it was not for Williams’ bad call, Valteri would have got ahead of Felipe easily and who knows, could even have won the race…what a tosh.

      3. Of course he wasn’t faster in the second sector; haven’t you heard of aerodynamic turbulence? The second sector is littered with high-speed corners, where the effect of turbulent airflow over wing surfaces is at its greatest. The fact he remained within a second showed that he clearly could have gone faster.

      4. well said

    3. Maybe, no one can be sure bar Williams themselves; maybe if Massa was behind he would have been in the same situation, following his team mate very close with the benifit of DRS. I doubt Massa was as slow as people think; ie if Bottas passed him, I do not think bottas would have been able to pull away as people thought he would to win the race. Too bad we cannont really know. Also put in mind that Bottas faded later into the race while Massa seemed a lot faster. What I think would have been best to do is what Red Bull did in Monaco; they could have let Bottas through if he think he was fast enough, and after that, if he was not able to pull away, then they can hand the place back to Massa.

    4. @renevdkooij: If Valtteri is faster than Massa he should have shown that in qualifying :D

      1. if anyone was able to pass it should have been Mercedes and they couldn’t so how was Bottas going to manage it?
        anyway the main point is Williams had a fantastic start which put everyone on the edge of their seat, for a change we had 2 cars in front of the Merc’s.
        Williams was on a one stopper and didnt want to change to the slower harder compounded hence the delay in covering Ham they where looking at around lap 26 or more before they wanted to change, but Ham was too fast on the harder tire,
        Williams also need more practice doing pit stops they where shockers and definitely cost them a heap of time which they could not afford to loose when running up front,
        anyway the rain sure knocked the wind out of their sails and they truly faded with a wet track,
        they need to sort that out pronto as well.
        come on Clare some ass kicking is need with a view to fixing these problems or you will for ever be a second class team, insert your Dads philosophy of winning, show him your just as good a Manager.

        1. Pretty sure Bottas was at least 0.2 per lap quicker when he was able to follow closely to Massa through corners. If it was the end of the race, sure let them fight it out, but facts are they had the chance to take the fight to Mercedes just once, and they blew it.

    5. I don’t really understand the discussion…Williams made a mistake by not allowing Bottas to attack when he had the opportunity, only giving him the go ahead many laps later when it became apparent he did show some advantage…..but who in their right mind really thinks Massa would have let his teammate by even if he had been asked to? No way….he does that, it’s pretty much over for him in that team. There is no way the team could ask him to do that, not with his history at Ferrari and the effect that had on him in that program. They simply should have allowed their guys to race it out, as Mercedes does. In addition, Hamilton was right on Bottas’ gearbox, and any loss of momentum from Felipe may have let one, or perhaps even two Merc’s by.

    6. that is not the right way to go
      and anyway thinking if they said that, i highly doubt Massa would have moved over.

  2. I’m surprised we even have to ask this question. For racing fans, there should only be only answer regardless of the circumstance.

    1. Too true!

    2. This is why Red Bull has been doing it right for years.

    3. I completely disagree. It is a team sport and should have that element. If in a certain stint your team mate is behind and is faster (and under pressure), he should always get the chance to pull away. If he doesn’t succeed, you can still revert the call.

    4. Had they let Bottas go and Massa held up the Mercedes for a Williams win I would’ve respected that. Had they pitted Massa earlier and let Bottas held up the Mercedes cars to assure Massa would come out in front I would have respected that. I love a nice teamgame and a Williams win surely would’ve been great. I also respect they let their drivers race but in the end sitting at stowe I never really saw Bottas getting next to Massa enough to effect a proper overtaking move.

    5. I completely agree with that sentiment. The only regulation by the team should be to prevent a potential collision which would compromise the race, or if they had already allowed the following driver to race and found the battle was jeopardising their position.

      I would argue the latter wasn’t the case based on the lack of any real attempt at an overtake by Hamilton. Therefore, Bottas should have been allowed to race from the get go.

      I feel he should have just been defiant though. What does he have to lose? A Williams contract, allowing him to defect to Ferrari?

  3. I think either way, whether Williams told Felipe to let Valtteri pass or just said they could race from the beginning, he would have gotten past eventually anyway. Not only was Williams’ indecision their downfall in this case, but Rob Smedley’s comments after the race – that they want the drivers to race, and that everyone else just misunderstood the radio messages – were just downright disrespectful. You made a mistake, and you should just admit it.

    In the end though, he and Felipe can deny all they want that Felipe was the faster car in that situation, but the fact was that Valtteri was faster than him. No, it wasn’t just down to the DRS, it was obvious even looking at it on TV that Valtteri was catching him, especially through the complex, and would then have Massa pull away down the pit straight and first sector.

    Williams let Felipe back Valtteri into the Mercedes cars when he would have easily been able to pull away at the front. Sure, with the rain arriving they likely wouldn’t have won the race anyway, but who knows, maybe in that situation, and then having them be able to actually think about the tyres, they could have. One thing’s for sure though, they managed to rob themselves of what would have been a guaranteed podium for essentially anybody else’s strategists in that situation.

    1. It was completely down to the double DRS zones. After the 1st pit stops, when Massa finally managed to break the 1sec toe for the 1st time, they were never together again. From then on, Massa was comfortably ahead. And that was before the first drops of rain…after that it was a slaughter.
      Want some good team tactics for Williams in that race? They should have told Bottas that instead of using the DRS zones to keep pressing his teamate, he should have held the Mercs and let Felipe open a good advantage…that would maybe have won it for them.
      Further, lets not forget, Valteri was awful in the rain…the timing of the pits was the reason Felipe lost the podium. Valteri would have never got it – he was lucky to be in front of Kiwyat in end.

      1. He would be definitely definitely behind Kvyat if RB didn’t spin. Bottas was lucky. He was also lucky Raikkonen was as bad as him in wet. And lots of people went out in the first lap. I don’t think he would have finished in points!

  4. How is it that Massa always seems to be involved in this kind of situations?
    I would’ve approached it in a bit crazier way: by telling them to overtake each other until they had a gap to the Mercedes. By doing this both drivers would’ve made use of DRS. Of course Bottas was quicker, he was behind, aided by said DRS, and well, whether you like it or not, he’s naturally faster. Felipe had clean air, but no DRSing was a slight disadvantage and a handicap for Valtteri.
    Either way, I reckon they couldn’t have won it. The Mercs are way too quick. However they could’ve had a 3-4 finish.

    1. Sorry man, F1 doesn’t work like that.
      If the car in second is overtaking the car in first, the car in third is gonna get a tow on him anyway, and he’s just gonna stick to its tail, no matter how many the first and second cars switch places.

    2. @carlitox Bottas is massevely overrated. Not only this season but also in 2014 he surely has a hand full with Massa. And if people are thinking Bottas should go to Ferrari they might as well rehire Massa. Because right now they seem to have each other covered on the same amount of days but Felipe comes with tons of experiene too.

      1. @xtwl

        Would agree. While I do think Bottas is amongst the half of drivers on the grid, I really don’t see what’s so ‘special’ about him. I think he’s consistent and a great defensive driver, but not a really special qualifier or a driver who pulls a phenomenal performance from time to time.

        I honestly think there are at least 3 better candidates for that Ferrari seat – Ricciardo, because he has convincingly beaten Vettel in the same machinery and managed to take 3 race wins last year. Hulkenberg, because he has the ability to pull one out of the bag and is consistent over the length of an entire season. He also has much more experience than Bottas. Also think Kvyat and Grosjean are as strong candidates as Bottas for that 2nd Ferrari seat.

      2. @xtwl I’m sorry but I disagree. Bottas is a hell of a driver. However, he’s still young and a bit unpolished, kind of like Hulkenberg was when Ferrari said he wasn’t ready. Massa retains some traits from his pre-2009 self, like his awesome getaways and his great rain driving (with a really painful exception being Silverstone 2008). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a Massa fan since 06, I’ve defended him when he was being humiliated by Alonso and seeing him in Williams back on the top positions makes me very happy. But I feel he still lacks speed over a whole race distance.

        1. As for Kimi’s seat, should he retire or be retired (I hope not, but he has made a lot of unusual mistakes this year so far), I would definitely keep an eye on the Hulk. He’s mature enough now, and I reckon nobody needs more proof of that. I’m not sure he would agree, though, as I’m sure Ferrari would ban him from racing at Le Mans again.

    3. “he’s naturally faster”
      You realize they have like 7-8 years of difference between them and they are still pretty much head to head. Massa is at the very least decent in wet and has a lot of experience in lots of situations. Bottas is like junior Massa. Except that he’s horrible in wet.

  5. They didn’t want to hurt Felipe’s delicate feelings. It’s not good to see a grown(?) man cry on TV.

    1. Why is it not good?
      The great Michael Schumacher cried on TV. I don’t think people complained back then.
      And I am sure Massa is mature enough to handle his duties in Formula 1. For God’s sake, he has been in F1 since as long as I can remeber, and recently, he was one of the drivers who led Williams to a top 3 finish in the constructors and is able to fight for front places.
      I do not understand all the negativity against Massa; even with all the good performances he is showing us, people still complain that he is not good enough blah blah blah…
      Well, people, believe it or not, Massa is still better than a lot of people on the grid; remember that he is giving his talented young team mate a real hard time on track.

      1. Believe me… Massa isn’t mature enough to handle that, he`s always nagging, crying and blaming everybody for everything… which was the last time you hear Massa said “it was MY fault”

        1. Yep Massa is awful….it is certainly his fault that except for that incredibly long 2 laps period in which they were told not to race each other, Valteri didn’t have the competence to overtake him in the other 50 laps of the race….how could he? And he added insult to injury when he calously opened 20+ secs to Bottas when the rain came…he should surely had fallen behind him and helped hold Kiwyat…..

        2. And you think that’s how he has been in formula 1 all tis time?

  6. If you consider the amount of pressure Bottas was putting on Massa they should’ve let him through, for the sake of trying to win the race. I’m sure Massa would’ve understood and played ball. The least they should’ve done is let them race – If they had then Bottas probably would’ve sneaked through and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    A really frustrating day again from Williams. They need to toughen up and stop playing safe all the time.

    1. Massa should not have let Bottas through even if they ordered him to
      it is Felipe’s right to fight for the win

    2. Bottas should try qualify better than Massa next time. That simple.

  7. It would have been nice to see them race, but I can see why they might not have given Bottas the nod, at least initially. The Mercedes cars weren’t far behind (and were faster) – could they have got Bottas past Massa without losing another place to Hamilton?

  8. Mustavo Gaia
    5th July 2015, 20:39

    Williams’ decision only holds up if one considers that protecting a 1-2 (MAS-BOT) was more meaningful — in terms of points – than getting a improbable 1-4 (BOT-MAS).

  9. Bottas was faster on the option tire, Massa was faster on the prime tire and a lot faster on the intermediate tyre. At the end of the race Massa was 27 seconds in front of Bottas.

    Imagine the following scenario. Willams swapped upon request of Bottas there drivers in the first stint. Because Massa is faster on the prime tyre he catches Bottas in the second stint and request to let past. How would Bottas react? Because I’m not entirely sure of his cooperation in that scenario.

  10. Bottas was much quicker than Massa in the opening stint and I believe he could have built a gap to the Mercedes. I understand the fact that you can’t tell Massa to let Bottas through because that would be devastating for Felipe, but preventing them from racing was just as bad.

  11. I chose “let drivers race”.

    I’m pretty sure that if Bottas had gone ahead and escaped, two Mercedes would have gone past Massa at the point when Massa would not have had DRS and Mercs had it. So entering the planned pit stops the order might have been Bottas, Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa.

    However, in this situation I think Williams should have taken care that they would make the first pit stop before either Mercedes driver. Of course Mercedes team had the position to see what Williams was doing but anyway Mercedes made one bluff with their pit crew. After that, Williams should have pitted one of their cars on the next lap.

    1. I’m with you. I think they did a lot more damage to their chances by not pitting either of the cars before Merc did it.

      They handed Merc the initiative, and they had to react to it, and it should’ve been the other way round.

      Massa pitting first, would’ve let Bottas in free air, and would’ve forced Merc to react, either by risking staying on track on worn tyres or pitting right after the Williamses.

      They managed to stay ahead of Rosberg, they could’ve easily kept Hamilton behind, even only with 1 car.

    2. After Mercedes had passed Massa, they would have gotten closer to Bottas again and he couldn’t have opened a big enough gap to block the undercut. Nothing would have changed really. They (especially Massa) would have been a lot further down the grid. Rosberg might have been 2nd from that moment on. When the rain came, Massa would have breeze passed Bottas though. And Vettel would have finished ahead of them anyway.

  12. I’m against every team orders. If Bottas was realy faster than Massa ,simple: JUST OVERTAKE HIM! Bottas was faster than Massa because he had DRS. If he does not have the ability to pass Massa, is not my problem!

  13. Massa is very traumatized by the famous ” Is faster than you ” order. Because of this, he left Ferrari.

    1. I’m afraid ‘he was ousted by Ferrari’ is a little bit more accurate

  14. I don’t quite understand why this question has popped up. Yes, it did look like Massa was struggling on the option tyres and Bottas could’ve built a gap had they switched positions. But in the end, Massa turned out to be quicker on the primes, and Bottas ended up losing half a minute in the rain, thus making the question irrelevant.
    Also, from a sporting point of view, Williams did exactly the right thing. Telling Bottas not to put pressure on Massa to allow him build a gap made sense, but seeing as that didn’t work, it was good to see them declare an open fight, provided that Bottas manages to produce a clean overtake.
    Things worked out pretty well in both senses: The fans were treated with a tight race in which the top 4 were packed within 1.5 seconds for most of the first stint. And Williams managed to treat both drivers equally, with the faster of the two staying ahead for the entire race even when he was struggling for pace. A win-win situation. One that has me wondering how it can be questioned.

  15. They would have 4 options:
    A. Racing each other
    B. Hold own positions
    C. Ask Massa to move over
    D. Ask Bottas to slow down to block Mercs in order to open a 4s gap

    My thoughts:
    C and D have very low risk and high revenue
    C and D need an inter-team agreement before the race
    C and D are always against Williams racing philosophy
    B has very low risk and medium revenue (pulling away from Ferrari more quickly).
    A has high risk and medium or low revenue.

    1. But A is always Williams’ old philosophy, which I really love to see

      1. In my opinion, A is just what F1 should be

        1. Mr win or lose
          5th July 2015, 21:37

          Perhaps, but usually it’s a little stupid (because of the risk-reward ratio). I think both drivers should cooperate to achieve the best possible result for the team.

      2. It hasn’t always been Williams’s philosophy – even in their early years, Williams would try to impose team orders (just ask Reutemann about the 1981 Brazilian GP, where Williams instructed him to let Alan Jones through with the famous “Jones – Reutemann pit board”).

        1. I know this story, but Williams racing was not a mature team at that time and didn’t have the philosophy at all

    2. D would be the best option, if they did option D
      maybe Felipe might have won the race!!

  16. There’s only 1 answer: Williams should have let their drivers race!

  17. by giving one set of instructions and then revising them, doesn’t seem to be the best way of handling it

    I think Williams could be assessing the pace difference between 2 drivers, then made a decision. Because “no racing(they were still racing actually)” only lasted 2 or 3 laps

  18. It didn’t matter in the end, their wet weather pace would have seen them drop to their finishing positions either way. As it was I think they called it right, once it became clear Hamilton wasn’t going to sneak past they let them race with the proviso they don’t hold each other up.

    If it had remained dry, getting two cars on the podium (ahead of Rosberg) would have been a good result, and that’s what they were on for before it rained. Keeping both Mercs behind was always going to be a tall order just because of the big difference in pace.

  19. Team orders should be banned along with driver coaching. We want to see drivers race every lap. This is why I give my Sunday’s every 2 weeks.

  20. I don’t understand why we are discussing this when the gap between Felipe and Valtteri was almost 30 seconds at the end of the race. Bottas might have been faster in the first stint but not the 0,5s per lap he claimed. Then Massa had better pace and that’s it.

    1. Mr win or lose
      5th July 2015, 21:53

      Bottas was probably even more than 0.5s a lap faster. It was really impressive how he could get closer to Massa in the high-speed corners. That tells me that he was significantly faster.

      1. lol. funny.

      2. Oh really? So why Bottas couldn’t overtake Massa as he was “significantly faster”?

  21. Weak display of leadership from Williams. Williams is a team fighting for “results” unlike Ferrari or Mercedes who can fight for wins and have proven this year. Their goal is collect as many points as possible so they can continue on this path of Williams F1 resurgence. If they continue to play it conservative they’ll fall further behind Ferrari or worse.

    When they are presented with a opportunity like they had in Silverstone, they should have grabbed it with both hands instead of fooling themselves into thinking they can beat the Mercedes on pure merit.

    The choices are simple:
    1. Put Bottas in front, if he doesn’t pull away put Massa back in front.
    2. Unleash the faster driver and sacrifice the other by having him hold up the Mercedes.

    What happened to the “no nonsense Smedley?” Too afraid to upset Massa??

    1. @sudd This is what everyone is missing. See Red Bull at Monaco for team orders done right – Kvyat let Ricciardo through, and as he didn’t pass anyone else he let Kvyat back past him on the last lap.

      Williams should have let Bottas pull clear, thus guaranteeing ‘the win’ (likely 1-3) by keeping Bottas ahead of Hamilton after the stops. Alternatively, if he didn’t pull clear and they were 2-3 again anyway, Bottas lets Massa back past, who is now faster on the hard tyres.

      Yes, it’s all moot as the rain caught them out (they didn’t even split strategies, just stacked too late), with Vettel pipping them for the podium. But Williams haven’t learned from Austria 2014.

      1. The end result is Bottas feels like Rosberg after Malaysia 2013.. dangerous when you consider he might have a Ferrari contract to sign..

      2. Yes, what I liked about Red Bull’s thinking at Monaco was Ricciardo was under investigation at the time (can’t remember what for!) so he could have received a time penalty, and needed to get up the road to get clear of the cars behind Kvyat. In the end there wasn’t any penalty.

  22. Massa finished 20 seconds ahead anyway, he destroyed him in the wet. I seriously doubt Bottas could have won.

  23. Bottas was racing Massa. He was just as quick, then had the benefit of DRS. Even with that, he could barely get alongside his team mate, and even then was on the outside line. They weren’t pulling away together but neither would they have with Bottas ahead, as the Finn proved, losing 27 seconds to Felipe in the second half of the race. Also, ironically it was better to have the quicker driver behind, as that meant Hamilton’s first overtake was going to be the harder one. With Bottas first and Massa second, I think Felipe would have lasted much less and Williams were going to lose their hopes even earlier. Massa was slower, but just enough to keep the drivers bunched up while being safe from attacks. Hamilton never threatened the Williams, and by staying close to each other they “protected” themselves.
    Massa on the damp track thrashed Bottas: it was the Finn’s mistake which let Rosberg through, and overtaking one car at a time is easier, so then he passed Massa. And then Bottas lost too much time. Remember Massa’s 2008 race, on a wet track: today he was impressive.

  24. Surely williams should have told bottas to slow down and hold up the Mercedes cars. Because with the straight line speed of the williams the merc were not getting passed. At least that would have allowed massa to build up a lead and the mercs would not have been able to undercut him. He was only faster because of DRS and massa was having to defend. Bottas put his OWN intrests ahead of the teams. I’m guessing he was probably thinking a race win would make that move to Ferrari a bit more likely

    1. this would have been the best solution. Bottas was not thinking about the team and was only thinking about HIMSELF.

  25. In the poll there is one option missing:
    – Williams handled the situation correctly. Should have decided it faster. “If you try to pass Massa, do it cleanly”

    1. That’s my opinion on the matter also, if Bottas can make a clean pass, without risking the cars colliding then by all means go for it, if not then it’s a little too much risk for the reward, particularly so early on in the race.

  26. Could it be there are 3 drivers that will never be given a “move over from the lead” instruction:
    1.) Lewis (title contender)
    2.) Nico (title contender)
    3.) Massa – for obvious 2010 reasons

  27. Just let the drivers race. No ifs or buts.

  28. but the fact was bottas had all those 10 laps from lap 11 to 20 when massa pull into the pit and still cant pass his teammate. And it’s double DRS zone

  29. Massive opportuninty missed here by Williams. This is not about sentiments. They trhew their only small chance to have a go at the victory away, by being neutral in their politics. Smedley’s interview after the race was not very convincing… they know they have made a mistake here

  30. Think it turned out that Massa was the quickest over qually and the race..Williams did exactly the right thing…by letting them hold position for a handful of laps, so they didn’t slow them both….and if Bottas was trying to impress Ferrari….this wasn’t the race he did it

    1. RP (@slotopen)
      6th July 2015, 1:44

      Maybe he did. I
      suspect aaccepting orders is a prerequisite for joining Ferrari, especially w Vettel doing so well.

      Watching drivers race is great, but Ferrari understands that team orders can pull in the points.

  31. It was for two laps only, what is the big deal? I understand completely where Williams were coming from in those two laps as they were assessing the situation.

    In the end it would have made no difference if they had let Bottas go ahead – they both still would have finished exactly where they finished.

  32. At this rate, there are more chances of Massa doing a Kimi and coming back to Ferrari than Bottas getting the seat.

    Champions are ruthless and hence why only a selective bunch attain that glory. Bottas should have informed the team that he was faster and hence ‘gained’ the place from Massa instead of seeking permission from them and running out of time.

    Also the famous Williams road block doing the same thing for their own car for a change, was nice to see. So was them being faster over the weekend for once and losing the podium.

    Loved it as a Ferrari fan :-)

  33. Bottas was faster on the first stint but how faster we’ll never know. I doubt he would build any significant gap.

    What i know is that if they had told Massa to let him pass, Massa would be easy prey for both Mercs at the pit stops and from that moment on, Hamilton and Ros pursuing Bottas for the win for too many laps.

    But the rain, and Bottas’s very bad form on inters (finished almost 30s behind Massa pitting on the same lap) must have made them proud of their earlier decision.

  34. Williams must be grateful for the rain, or else this would go down as another race they could have won if they played their cards right. Williams were never going to beat Mercedes on pace, so they had to be clever. Unfortunately, while letting the drivers race is perhaps morally right, and good for spectators, but if they wanted to win they should’ve used team orders. They could’ve asked them to switch positions to give Bottas a chance to create a gap, or asked Bottas to hang back and block the Mercs to give Massa more of an advantage. An additional 3 or 4 seconds could have been enough to give Massa the lead after the stops and with the straightline speed of the Williams being what it is, it could’ve been enough to win the race. Of course, Williams seem to have no wet weather performance, so it wouldn’t have mattered. But perhaps lessons have been learned for the future.

  35. The “racer’s mentality” that F1 people – and most of its fans – have sometimes makes them lose perspective I think.

    I am a massive Williams fan; I probably woke the neighbours cheering as Massa and Bottas jumped into the lead. But the very next thing I was shouting at the screen was “don’t fight, work together”. Any Ferrari driver knows the team comes before their own interests, so why Williams should be considered any different. There’s nothing wrong (imo) with racing the competition as a team first, and then settling the intra-team battle later.

    “Just let them race”. Sure, if F1 were run in some utopian scenario where talent wins out over money, and anyone can have a go at the dream. But the reality is that Williams has 600 employees to think about, and cash is limited. The odd win might feel good, but it doesn’t fix everything – Maldonado’s 2012 win amidst that horrible 2011-2013 slump shows that. This is the first time in a decade that Williams has strung together 2 decent seasons and shows the resurgence has substance. The Management’s responsibility is to make sure they continue the upward trend by getting on the right side of F1’s unequal income distribution, and to do that they need strong team results.

    They handled it correctly; first they tried the “work together” approach, then when it was clear Bottas had more pace, they approved a battle, subject to conditions.

    They were never going to beat the Mercs so a 3-4 would have been a good result, but having run 1-2 it probably doesn’t feel like it. Vettel stealing 3rd with his perfectly timed pitstop was the real kicker because it limited William’s progress towards Ferrari in the points. But looking forwards, a very positive weekend for Williams, so I’m well pleased.

    1. Thanks for the analysis. I knew Williams would struggle to get a 1 – 2 finish, but I do think it might have been attainable if the drivers were prepared to put work for the team, but if they didn’t work for the team then they wouldn’t get that.

  36. You just let them race and see how it pans out. You open too many issues once you interfere. For me Bottas needs to harden up a bit if he wants to be considered one of the top line drivers. At the moment all i see is a little bit of speed but nothing else

  37. That wasn’t even the mistake. It was not reacting immediately to Hamilton pitting that ruined their chances

    1. @jarnooo And letting them swim outside for way to long when everyone had already pitted even to the extent they had to double stack.

  38. At that point of the race, I think Williams should let Bottas past. Since they are not really fighting for the championship then both drivers should know to put team interest before theirs. They can let Bottas pass with and agreement that if Bottas not getting away, he should give the place back. Also if Massa caught up on him on prime tires, he should do the same too. Mind you this is also a form of “let them racing” but instead of the immediate apparent between teammates racing, it’s about them vs the rest of the grid.

    1. Totally agree.

  39. Why not William order Bottas to slow down Hamilton to give Massa the leading driver enough to maintain their lead after first pit stop

    1. exactly this would have been the best option

  40. I think the real problem here is the second car should have been slightly slower than the first car, so the Mercedes cars were being kept away from the front Williams car and a gap to the front car was slowly but surely growing, so when it came to tyre changing time the front car would have a decent chance of coming out in front of Hamilton. This is what you see other teams do, e.g. Ferrari, Red Bull, etc. Whether it was Bottas or Massa doesn’t matter much, but I do think if Massa had let Bottas pass then Williams would have had a better chance of a 1 – 2 finish than if it was Bottas who had to keep Hamilton at bay.
    It was pretty obvious that if Massa didn’t let Bottas passed, then Williams would have only one driver on the podium, and that would be for third. As it turned out, they didn’t even get third.

  41. Neil (@neilosjames)
    6th July 2015, 7:07

    I went for let them race… at that stage there was no excuse for team orders, either of the “let Bottas through” variety or the hold station sort.

    Slightly off topic, I did wonder whether they’d lost the plot when I heard “We need to pull away together from the Mercs”. Does stopping racing each other suddenly make the car a second a lap quicker?

  42. I love to if and buts ;)/so hypothetically speaking

    If Ross Brawn was on the pitwall … We all.know what would have happened and probably the different result than today rain or shine !!!!!!

  43. I was always clear that Hamilton would do something different in the pitstops and would get past then and disappear. That is why I thought that if Bottas was really faster they should have let his try, if not then swap back. Mercedes was always faster and the Williams where very good (and a bit lucky) at the start. I actually thought Hamilton would try a crazy move to get past.

  44. Aagh if just maldonado still driving for William … Maybe they will order him to crash into both merc

    1. hahaha lol gud one and might have worked actually

  45. I think it was a situation that arose from the inherent flaw in F1 in 2015: the fact that the cars are generating too great an aero wake to be able to overtake without a straight-line advantage. Certainly, with that in mind, Williams should have noted the fact that a) the turbulent effect will be at its largest on a track like Silverstone, and therefore b) the close Finn had a substantial pace advantage.

    Waving Valtteri though would have actually had no impact on the Williams result; his pace fell away dramatically versus his more flamboyant teammate as the rain began to fall (presumably because Massa was able to keep better front axle temperature in the cold conditions), an episode that fundamentally condemned Williams’ Grand Prix. However, on the evidence available to Williams in the first stint, they should have let Bottas be the hare and Massa be the tortoise.

    However the fact a car that was three-quarters of a second faster in qualifying was unable to pass on a track that offers numerous opportunities, is a rather graphic case for change in F1’s technical regulations.

  46. As a spectator I’d love to say ‘let them race’ but the reality is that Williams hasn’t won a Grand Prix in some time and there is no doubt in my mind the team should have been looking for the win rather than worrying about whether we were entertained – they have the chance to race each other for 3rd/4th place every other weekend.

    I’m in the minority but I think that they should have not only stuck with their initial call but even encouraged Bottas to slow down the Mercedes and engage them with defensive driving rather than attacking Massa and slowing both Williams down as he did. Gambling on an early stop for Massa to avoid the undercut and bringing Bottas in the following lap with Hamilton probably following behind might have given them the first two places after the stops. The gamble might not have worked but the alternative (letting Bottas slow Massa by attacking and then allowing Mercedes the undercut) was guaranteed to fail. Williams needed to take a small chance of a win over a certain podium (before the rain came!) and they failed to do that.

  47. They needed a pre-race agreement. it’s simple really. changing the plan on the fly was destined to annoy at least one of the drivers and means they definitely had it wrong at one stage (either letting them race or making them hold position – both can’t be right).

  48. Williams shouldn’t have stopped VB from attacking FM. Similarly, Bottas shouldn’t expect the pass to be handed over on a plate, else his race craft will be in doubt

  49. I remember a few races ago near the end of the race; RBR let Riccardo pass Kvyat and informed them unless Riccardo passed the car in front he should let Kvyat repass him at the end. At the last corner of the race Riccardo let Kvyat repass him because he couldn’t pass the car in front.
    At the end of the day RBR exploited every opportunity to score more points and didn’t prefer a driver over the other. A win-win strategy.

  50. Williams were idiots; you have your cars P1 and P2 and you get dubled undercut?!
    I’m so frustrated with them!

  51. We have to look at the question here, “How should Williams have handled Massa and Bottas?”.
    Williams’ objective is to win the race, and to win the race you need your quickest driver out front, not being held back. This is why if I was the team (as the question dictates) I would have ensured that Bottas was given every opportunity to lead and win.
    In the perfect fans sense we want a race, but a team wants a win- and having Bottas out front was the only way to give them a fighting chance of a win.

    1. This is not reasonable. Nobody can be sure if Bottas was really faster than Massa. He had DRS. However, for the sake of the argument, let´s suppose that he would be 0.5 secs/lap faster after passing Massa. A few options:
      1- Massa would have the DRS advantage himself and Bottas could do nothing to build any gap. Remember, Bottas himself said that the widow was open to a pssa for just 2 laps, se he would have the tires to improve anything in froint. Massa would just lose his position and be a complete fool. of course, he would repass Bottas afterwards, because Bottas lost 1.5 to 3 secs/lap from Massa in damp/rain situation.
      2- Massa would slow down the Mercedes, in 2 laps they be called to pit and would undercut both the Williams after their pit stops because they would have clean air to show their superior pace. The only one who would lose would be Massa.
      The only logical option would be Bottas slow down Mercedes instead of making Massa degrade his pace in a defensive drive, Massa would build some gap and maybe, just maybe, one of the Mercedes would not be able to undercut both Williams. The problem here is that some people´s sympathy for Bottas or the opposite for Massa make them be creative over the drivers prospects. The rain just showed that nothing is won or lost before the checkered flag, and this is why people should stop doing doubtful math to foresee the past and just enjoy a very interesting race where Williams made the right call for us all be entertained;-)

      1. williams should have pitted one car earlier than Mercedes; once Ferrari pitted on lap 13 and 14, until lap 20/21 when the mercs pitted, williams should have pitted one car. whichever they would have fancied.

  52. One thing that looked clear to me it was Bottas getting closer because of DRS, just that.

  53. rafael martins
    6th July 2015, 22:27

    All gaps previous to Bottas getting close to Massa and possibile pass: .500

    Bottas doesn’t will get the first place on the team (or at any team) if he behave like he was too quick than Massa, all the time.

    Willians was lead to error by this Bottas mistake, if he manage the mercs well, he could ended fight a 1-2 race by taking care of the real enemies. He took the old “same team pilot, worst enemy” too seriuous.

    Anyways, Massa took a advantage since the beginning of the race, and overall this year, speaking in race performance.

  54. Williams should’ve let their drivers race from the get go. But does Felipe Baby think we’re all stupid? Clearly VB was faster with or without DRS

  55. BOT was faster
    but not enough to pass MAS I think

  56. Is swapping positions once or twice a lap using DRS worth doing in F1? (like two leaders on an oval drafting their way out front) Not sure if it would’ve gained enough lap time, the Mercs looked too quick anyway – or whether the drivers are smart enough (Massa’s not always the sharpest tool in the box…) but it’s worth asking.

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