Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were left frustrated and at loggerheads after seeing their bid for a bold Williams one-two at the team’s home British Grand Prix undone by rain showers and pit-stops.
Finn Bottas, who ran second behind Massa in the early stages, felt the team should have allowed him, as the faster of the two, to pass his Brazilian team-mate and set the pace. But Massa, who finished fourth ahead of fifth-placed Bottas, believes he was quicker on the harder tyres and deserved to stay ahead.
After making brilliant starts to pass the two Mercedes on the front row and run first and second at the opening corner, both men lost their chances of a podium when rain reduced their competitive level and when Sebastian Vettel took third for Ferrari by making a decisive stop for intermediate tyres one lap before they did. Bottas said he wanted to pass Massa in the early laps before his tyres were worn. “At that point, I think I had a bit more pace,” said Bottas.
“I had one or two really good opportunities, when I was not allowed to race him, so obviously for me it’s a bit disappointing. “I’m sure there is some thinking behind it and we need to go through what could have been possible…. But our main problem was stopping one lap too late for inters.” Massa, who led for 20 laps, said: “On the hard tyre, I was quicker, so it was definitely not the right thing to let him pass me.
“But my biggest problem was that my first pit-stop was too slow, because we had to clean the rear wing. “It was too long and I almost lost two positions and I had to fight Nico (Rosberg) in the pit lane. Then we stopped too late for the second one A pity. We should have had a podium here.”