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Strategy chaos at Williams: first stable management, then free passage

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Strategy chaos at Williams
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D he radio messages reminded of the GP Malaysia 2014. Back then Felipe Massa let Valtteri Bottas charging past with fresher tires. So that the Finn could have caught Jenson Button in sixth place. But Massa pretended to be deaf and ignored the stable orders.

Bottas adheres to team instructions

15 months later Williams returned to the stable management. But this time with the opposite sign. At the GP England Bottas was instructed by the team not to attack Massa after the start. 'You are not racing against your team-mate. Let's pull away together in front.' The idea behind it: The top of the team did not want their drivers to wear themselves out in a duel and Mercedes would benefit from it. Experts scratched their heads: How should you even drive away Mercedes?

Bottas listened to his team. Although he said he could have overtaken Massa, as he said after the race: 'I respect the decision, even if it was disappointing. I could have overtaken him. At this point, I could have driven half a second faster if I hadn't been able to drive . '

The 25-year-old changed his team over the radio. 'I asked: can we race?' The TV world director played the following statement: 'I can overtake him on the back straight.' The answer: 'It has to be a clear maneuver and then you have to be able to drive away.' Bottas confirmed: 'Understood.'

First pit stop too late

However, behind Massa, he strained the tires strong. When he was given permission to overtake, there was not enough juice left in the medium to maneuver himself into a perfect starting position for the hangar straight in Maggots, Beckets and Chapel. Even DRS support was of no use. Massa played out his routine of 218 GP starts. 'I covered the inside and let him starve to death on the outside,' explained the Brazilian.

Mercedes did not pose a threat to Williams until the tire changes had no chance to overtake them, 'reported Toto Wolff.

At the first pit stop, Massa lost the lead. Not to Bottas. But to Hamilton. Because the Brit won the decisive seconds with an earlier and faster pit stop on lap 19 and an outlap on fresh hard rubber.

ThatThe Mercedes crew won the pit duel at tire service with 2.4 to 3.8 seconds. 'My inlap was just not good enough,' Massa was a little self-critical. Then he made his team responsible. 'I was in the lead and couldn't copy Lewis' strategy. We should have anticipated it and got in first.'

Why did Williams split them Strategy not?

In the paddock, people wondered why the Williams strategists didn't split tactics and didn't bring at least one of the drivers in front of the Mercedes. The same mistake was made in Austria last year. 'We were concerned about how many laps we could put up with the hard tires,' Bottas defended his strategists.

'We knew that we could drive longer with the hard tires. At the end of the 18th lap we said: We'll give it a try,' says Wolff, giving an insight into the Mercedes strategy. 'I think Williams was surprised by the overall situation. Actually, they should have piloted Bottas past Massa.' Williams did not fall for a fake stop a few laps earlier.

After the series of first stops, Massa and Bottas were in second and third positions. There they would have made it to the finish line. Massa: 'I had very good pace. I had too much front wing on the mediums, we corrected that. After that, the car was fantastic. I only lost one to two tenths on average to Lewis and left Valtteri and Nico behind.' /p>

Until the first rain came on lap 35, Massa was more than five seconds behind Hamilton. Then it went back for Williams. Nico Rosberg grabbed the two pilots within two laps (39, 41). 'We have to really fight as soon as the speeds slow down,' explained Bottas.

Williams much too slow in the rain

Williams made the next strategy mistake in the second rainy phase. 'That was our biggest blunder. I said on the radio two laps earlier that it was going to be too difficult,' said Massa. While Hamilton came into the pits, Massa and Bottas stayed outside. 'That was bad luck,' said the Finn. 'Just as we passed the driveway, the rain got worse.' Massa calculated that he lost about ten seconds through the additional lap with dry tires in the wet.

Unfortunately for Williams, Ferrari reacted correctly and brought Vettel in like Hamilton in lap 43. At the Scuderia's command post you also had a few more seconds to make your decision. Vettel washed it past Williams onto the podium.

What followed in the last few laps was frightening. The wet conditions turned the Williams into snails. 'The car is so slow in the rain. We are two seconds short on Ferrari,' complained Massa. 'Even if I had come out of the box before Vettel, he would have overtaken me.'

The problem in the rain has already dragged Williams twoYears around. The engineers can't solve it. 'We just don't know what's going on. We just lose a disproportionate amount of grip.'

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