Williams F1 team says speed, not strategy cost it in Hungarian GP
|By Ben Anderson||Monday, July 28th 2014, 15:43 GMT|
A lack of speed in cool conditions rather than strategic errors were to blame for Williams not doing better in the Hungarian Grand Prix, according to performance chief Rob Smedley.
Valtteri Bottas had finished on the podium in each of the three races prior to Sunday's Hungaroring event, but the best Williams could manage in Hungary was a fifth place for Felipe Massa.
Bottas ran second in the early stages but lost out badly at the first round of pitstops and also struggled when Williams switched its drivers onto the medium tyre for their third stints.
Although this tyre choice looked incorrect given most other teams opted to use only the soft rubber for the rest of the race, Smedley said the FW36 simply wasn't fast enough to compete.
"I don't think we dropped any [strategic] ball to be honest," Smedley said.
"The main problem was the pace of the car.
"We've come out of the last four events where we had the second quickest car, [but] it can swap between having the second quickest car and the fifth quickest car quite easily.
"We were alright in the hotter temperatures [of Friday and Saturday], but the track cooled down by 18-20C and we just couldn't get any pace out of the car."
Smedley added that as well as lacking pace, Williams didn't believe it could make the soft tyre last long enough, hence its decision to run the harder medium-compound tyre.
"From lap 23 when the second safety car came out, we just didn't think we could do 25 laps per option (soft) tyre," he said.
"As it transpired you could actually do much more than that, [so] we need to go away and understand about our tyre management in these conditions.
"Certainly we didn't do a great job, [but] in terms of what we executed in the race I don't think it was fundamentally flawed - we got two cars home in the points.
"It just didn't work out for us. From the outset we were going backwards compared to the Red Bulls and the Ferraris."
BOTTAS: TYRE CALL WAS WRONG
Bottas tried to make his first set of medium tyres last to the end of the race, but eventually slipped back to eighth after a late final stop.
The Finn suggested Williams should have used the soft tyre instead, because of how difficult the medium rubber was to warm up.
"There was definitely a possibility for us to do better as a team," Bottas said.
"The main thing after that was the tyre warm-up on dry tyres - it just took ages.
"Every lap was getting better and better, and once the tyres started to work it was already too late."