Ferrari shook up the F1 2015 season as Sebastian Vettel took their first win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, Williams has lost its place as Mercedes’ nearest competitor.
Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley has admitted that he is “concerned” by how far his team finished behind Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas finished fifth in Malaysian Grand Prix; three seconds ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa, the Finn was 1m10s adrift of race-winner Vettel.
When asked if his former team’s newfound form was a worry, Smedley replied: “Yeah, of course I’m concerned. he is quoted by F1i as saying.
“To be 60 seconds down at the end of the race, absolutely it’s a concern. It would be remiss of me to say I was not concerned about that. But there are certain bits of it, like the fact that Sebastian could do one less stop than us has certainly helped in that minute, so that’s where we need to start concentrating.
“At the same time we need to develop the car package from front to back, you need to keep pushing on with that. It’s a concern – if anyone is in front it’s a concern, no matter what colour their car is. We just have to keep pushing on and make sure we’re developing at a faster rate than them. If we do that, we close a gap, it’s that simple.”
“To be 60 seconds down at the end of the race, absolutely it’s a concern. It would be remiss of me to say I wasn’t concerned about that.”
“It’s a combination of a lot of things. I think that’s probably part and parcel of what we need to do now, look at the tyre management here. There’s a car package pace deficit and it’s not as if we should shy away from that. “
“There is car package pace deficit from both MGP [Mercedes] and Ferrari and we have to work hard to improve that. At the same time, concurrently, we need to look at our tyre management and how we manage the tyres.
“Why were there cars in the race that could do one less stop than us? That’s a really key point. It’s not that we look at it afterwards and say ‘ah, we could have done one less stop’.”
“We couldn’t. So they key factor here is we need to understand as a group of people that there’s work to do in that area. It’s like everything, you’ve got a deficit, you’ve got a deficit in all areas – you don’t have this Eureka moment where you unlock half a second or a second from the car. We just need to do our due diligence and we’ll do it right and find the right answers.” (Images © Ferrari/Williams)