Valtteri Bottas admits he hoped Williams would give him priority over team-mate Felipe Massa in terms of strategy at the Japanese Grand Prix, as both drivers only made a single pit stop at Suzuka.
Lining up respectively 11th and 12th on the grid, Bottas and Massa both dropped a couple of positions before recovering into the points-paying positions thanks to their one-stop strategy.
The Brazilian eventually led the Finn home in ninth and 10th after he had leapfrogged him by stopping a couple of laps earlier. Bottas concedes he was surprised to see Massa receive first service.
“As a team strategy-wise, we managed to do something different to our competitors so that was good,” Bottas said. “There definitely wasn’t any more we could have got out of [the race].
“From my side, being the lead car in the first stint I was hoping for the better strategy out of the two of us but that didn’t work out.”
Despite the exercice in damage limitation in Japan, Williams still abandoned another seven points to Force India in the close fight for P4 in the Constructors’ championship.
“In a nutshell, we need to make a quicker car and hope that the rest of the circuits in the calendar are better suited to us. We just didn’t have the pure pace,” Bottas added.
“Looking ahead to Austin, I hope it’s better and more like Malaysia in terms of our pace in comparison to Force India. It’s just so difficult to predict these things nowadays, so we need to learn from Suzuka and hopefully we’ll perform better there in two weeks.”
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