Bottas’ British Grand Prix podium finish only fills Williams’ glass ‘half-full’

Team head of vehicle performance says he is 'hugely disappointed' to have only one car finish

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas of Williams, front, steers his car ahead of British driver Jenson Button of McLaren-Mercedes during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 6, 2014.  Geoff Caddick / EPA
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Seeking to build on their revival as a force in Formula One, Williams said they were not content with a second-place finish for Valtteri Bottas at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

It was a day of mixed emotions for the former champions, who lost driver Felipe Massa on the first lap when he was caught in the aftermath of a heavy crash involving Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and had to retire.

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Bottas saved the day when he moved up through the field after starting in 14th place to finish second to Briton Lewis Hamilton, the best result of Bottas's career.

“The cup is half-full,” said Rob Smedley, head of vehicle performance at Williams. “I’m hugely disappointed to have a car that quick and only have one of them finish.”

Williams are fourth in the constructors’ championship, having already amassed 103 points following last year’s miserable haul of just five all season. They now are targeting third place, with three points separating them from Ferrari.

Smedley, who joined Williams this season after previously working as Massa’s race engineer at Ferrari, said the team had more work to do to maintain their improvement.

“The message is that it was good, but it’s not good enough, so keep pushing,” he said.

Bottas, who moved to fifth in the championship standings, said: “We knew that we had a quick car. Maybe it was a bit surprisingly quick today, but since the first stint, the pace was good, since the first lap.

“I was able to go through the field quite well. Of course, sometimes it needed a bit of risk, because it’s really important to get through quickly and not get stuck behind people, but I really managed to get well in position, where the pace of the car was.”

There was little to celebrate for Massa, who was racing in his 200th grand prix. He got off to a bad start because of problems with his clutch and then found his race cut short before it had really begun.

“The car was flying,” he said. “Today we would have both finished on the podium.”

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