Massa vs Bottas: The result after three years

2016 F1 season

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Felipe Massa’s F1 career may not be over yet, but his time alongside Valtteri Bottas at Williams is.

These two have been a dependable pairing for the Grove team, leading them to third-place finishes in the constructors’ championship. Both drivers have reliably racked up points and stayed out of trouble.

Williams used team orders at Sepang in 2014
The partnership didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts. At Sepang in 2014 Williams tried to impose team orders as their drivers battled for position, which Massa resisted.

After all, he’d had enough of being told his team mate was faster than him. Massa arrived at Williams after four years of being pummelled by Fernando Alonso.

Bottas, who was then heading into his second season, had embarrassed Pastor Maldonado the year before and proceeded to give Massa a very tough time in his new berth.

Their first year together set the tone for what was to follow. Bottas conclusively out-qualified Massa, and after three years together he had more than twice as many qualifying victories as his team mate.

Massa’s experience showed in the races, where the team’s 46 two-car finishes were divided evenly between the two in terms of who finished ahead. However in the second half of last season Massa’s successes were few and far between. Some of them – as in Austin – came about only because of misfortunes suffered by Bottas.

The signs Massa’s time had come were becoming increasingly hard to ignore even before he announced his retirement. This is an uncomfortable truth for the team ahead of his widely-expected return.

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Felipe MassaQ


Felipe MassaQ


Felipe MassaQ

NB. The 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been treated as a single points race

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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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11 comments on “Massa vs Bottas: The result after three years”

  1. Massa’s results in:China 2014,Canada 2014,Bahrain 2015,Monaco 2015,Austria 2016,Malaysia 2016, & Bottas results in:Russia 2015,Us 2016 shouldn’t have counted as a loss,cause both drivers faced multiple,non their fault,issues.But,anyway,Bottas was far superior in qualifying,although he didn’t manage to get a pole(Austria & Russia 2014 mostly).He will have to grap every opportynity now that he will be in a top car.

  2. People often say that Bottas is a cool head in the car, but I’ve seen him make numerous mistakes in qualifying, especially when it matters.

  3. Interesting to see Massa always qualified ahead in Australia and Bottas. I’ve always noticed he starts the season well and then it gradually tails off over the season.

    Yes the stats show Bottas delivered more, but I still can’t wait for the return of my favourite driver.

    1. Funny that, considering how dire his start to most seasons has been, see ’05, ’06, ’07 (to an extent), ’08, ’09 and 2012…Australia hasn’t usually been a Massa happy hunting ground!

  4. bottas v ricciaro in monza and v hulkenburg in japan….not a lot there that looked like a future WDC

  5. I have been a little surprised and disappointed over the last few years that Williams held onto Massa. If they had replaced him last season or before they would arguably be in a better position now. Bringing him back for another season…. surely there must be better options….

    For both the Merc and Williams seat I am surprised there have been zero rumors of state side drivers (like a Gilles, Zinardi, Michael, Sebastian) putting up there hand.

  6. They need a constant data feed with stroll appearing next year. Without bottas or massa all this years data will be meaningless as they won’t have a constant……personally I would have said screw that and hired the best driver available………but as Merc have discovered they are a bit thin on the ground.

  7. I expected Bottas to thrash Massa, it didn’t happen, he still beat Massa but the stats aren’t as damning as one would expect from a top driver.

    1. They were very close.If Felipe hadn’t that awful lack in 2014,they would have been even closer.

  8. Hulkenberg got pretty solidly beaten by Ricciardo who was in his first year at the team.

    That Hulkenberg compared so well when compared to Stroll at Racing Point speaks more to the unharnessed potential of that car last year rather than to Hulkenberg being an excellent driver. Reminds me of the Williams in 2014, who knows where that car would have finished with two AAA drivers.

    1. woops, wrong article, at least I fact check!

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