Valtteri Bottas finished third and Felipe Massa thirteenth in the Belgian Grand Prix, with Valtteri picking up his fourth podium of the season.
Valtteri managed his tyres well and showed strong pace throughout the race to make a two-stop strategy work and make up three places in total to finish on the podium.
Felipe’s race was hindered by debris that was lodged in his car at the beginning of the race that affected the car’s aerodynamic performance and impacted his pace.
Valtteri Bottas: Our pace was solid today and a lot better than in qualifying, with some good battles with the Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s, and I think third was probably the right result. I was stuck behind slower cars at the beginning which made the first stint difficult, but I managed to make my way past cars when it was needed and that was important for my race. We came into this race aiming for a podium and it is very satisfying to achieve that after an up and down weekend with tricky weather and Felipe being very unlucky today with debris.
Felipe Massa: Unfortunately at the beginning of the race I had some tyre debris stuck in the floor that came from Hamilton’s car and this made the car very slow, losing about two seconds per lap. This wasn’t removed until my second pitstop and after that I was nearly three seconds quicker and the fastest car on track, but at this point it was too late for me to really do anything. Obviously I’m very disappointed that something like this has hurt my race and I just hope that in Monza my luck will change and I am able to put the car in the sort of position it is capable of.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: Valtteri had a brilliant result today, putting in a really mature drive and passing cars when he needed to thanks to the impressive chassis and power unit package. The strategy worked perfectly for us as well; we stuck to our plan and this paid dividends. Felipe was incredibly unlucky, picking up a large amount of debris from Hamilton’s tyre that stayed under his car for 20 laps and probably cost him about 40 seconds in total with his compromised pace and strategy. As we are continuing to do, we need to improve our operations. This has not been a straight forward weekend so to finish with a car on the podium is a decent result and we look forward to Monza.