Austrian Grand Prix 2017 – Race
– Felipe Massa finished ninth and Lance Stroll tenth at the Austrian Grand Prix, securing three championship points for WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING
– Both drivers had impressive starts to the race, managing to avoid a number of incidents on the opening corners
– In the opening lap, Felipe gained seven places up to P10 and Lance moved up seven places into P11
– By lap 48, both Lance and Felipe had come in for ultrasoft tyres with 2.3-second pitstops
– Lance moves up to 11th in the Drivers’ Championship, while Felipe remains 10th. The team holds fifth in the Constructors’ Championship with 40 points
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: A double-points finish is a great achievement for us today. Congratulations to Felipe and Lance for producing that result, especially given the fact that they started in 17th and 18th. It was a pretty eventful opening lap, which put us immediately into 10th and 11th. From there, we managed to pick up more places in overtakes and move up to ninth and 10th. Our strategy was to run for longer on the harder tyres and then finish with a shorter stint on the ultrasoft, which meant we were able to attack Esteban Ocon at the end, but we were unfortunately unable to make the position. Equally, Lance defended really well against Magnussen and Palmer to take his third points finish in a row. So overall, we certainly ended the weekend on a much better note than it felt like we would yesterday.
Felipe Massa: For sure you cannot celebrate a ninth position but starting 17th it was a fantastic race for me. I had a really good start, getting through the issues that were happening in corner one, and overtaking cars. It was a fantastic first lap as the pace was great, compared to qualifying, which is something we need to work to understand so that we don’t repeat starting out of position like today. At the end of the race it was a bit disappointing not to be able to pass Ocon, but I was just losing a lot of grip in the high-speed corners behind him, and he had good speed on the straight so it was quite difficult. I’m so happy with my race and it’s good to have both cars in the points.
Lance Stroll: It goes to show anything can happen in a race and it is not over on a Saturday. I am feeling very positive as I started 18th, finished 10th and picked up another point. It wasn’t an easy race, although the start was good and we managed to gain some places. I knew after the start we were in a good position, so it was just a matter of staying focussed, not making any mistakes and saving the brakes and tyres towards the end of the race. First, there was Magnussen putting pressure on me and then at the end Palmer, but I just needed to defend as I know around here it is quite difficult to overtake. We just need to figure out what happened to us this weekend in qualifying and try to cure it for the next race. The next race is Silverstone, the home race for the team, so I am really looking forward to it.