Williams drivers Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa enjoyed an intense wheel to wheel battle in the closing stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix which brought home a fifth and sixth place finish for the Grove team.
Both drivers admitted however the result was probably the best they could achieve and recognize that Williams has now been outpaced by Ferrari, its closest rival at the start of the season.
"I was really hoping we could be closer to Ferrari but we just didn't have the pace," acknowledged Bottas who had no complaints whatsoever about his back. "I had a bad first lap and dropped back a lot but there still would have been no chance to fight with Ferrari which was surprisingly quick all weekend, especially in race conditions."
As Bottas, Felipe Massa also benefited from the early safety car, running at one stage as high as fourth. The closing laps of the race saw the Williams drivers grouped together and engage in a thrilling scrap from which Bottas eventually emerged the winner.
"It wasn't a fantastic day," said Massa. "We had a small problem in the pitstop and as a result it gave Valterri the chance to catch me. But it was good to race wheel to wheel."
Williams Head of Performance Engineering, Rod Smedley, also stressed how the team made the most of its current potential. "We made a good recovery from a difficult Saturday and it was good to have both cars racing each other, although at one stage they were a bit too close."
Click here for Sunday's gallery from the Malaysian Grand Prix