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Williams duel for 3rd place: & # 34; Trembling for one lap & # 34;

Wilhelm
Williams duel for 3rd place
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W Illiams technical director Pat Symonds wiped his sweat off the forehead. With three laps to go, Valtteri Bottas drove up to his team mate Felipe Massa by half a second. On the last lap, Bottas started with serious attacks. It was about 3rd place. 'That was a shivering round,' admitted the longest-serving Formula 1 engineer. Operations manager Rob Smedley took it calmly: 'It's not the first time that Felipe has done something like this.'

For a long time it looked like a clear pecking order in the Williams camp. Massa was sometimes up to 6.5 seconds ahead of Bottas. But with increasing duration of the race, the lead of the little Brazilian melted. At first imperceptibly. Rapidly from lap 44. His tires were finished. 'The last 3 laps were difficult. In the end I had practically no traction. I couldn't get out of the corners properly.'

Williams had problems with both pit stops

Massa's set of tires at the finish 34 laps on the tread. Bottas's was only 31 laps old. 'Those were exactly the 3 laps that Felipe was missing,' explained Smedley. But why was Massa pitted 3 laps earlier?

'At first we wanted to react to Rosberg's early pit stop, but lap 18 was too early for our pit stop window. That would not be over without problems The distance was done. Lap 19 was the earliest time we could afford. We brought Felipe in. Unfortunately, we lost 1.4 seconds at both pit stops because the wheel nuts were difficult to loosen. So Rosberg was over . '

Since Bottas was safely in 5th place, the Finn was allowed to ride on the soft tires as long as the lap times were still reasonable. 'Valtteri always needs a little less tires than Felipe,' said Smedley. It was precisely this 3 lap difference that made the race even more exciting in the final phase from Williams' point of view. Nevertheless, Massa defended third place. It was the fifth time in a row that he finished ahead of his stable rival, who was 8 years younger than him.

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