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2014-06-24 12:03

WHAT IF WE WERE MORE AGGRESSIVE? An assertive strategy could have resulted in victory for Williams at the 2014 Austrian GP. Felipe Massa (centre) poses with team mate Valtteri Bottas (right) and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Williams settled for defeat at the 2014 Austria GP, despite dominating qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.

Chief engineer Rob Smedley told Spain's EFE news agency that the team was "not without problems" as it returned to the podium with Valtteri Bottas' third place behind the two Mercedes.

Some analysts criticised Williams for not pursuing an aggressive enough strategy for victory in Austria, but Smedley says that was a deliberate approach.


Smedley said: "We had to manage the car's systems, including brakes, tyres and other things.

"We had to be sure of finishing in third and fourth, so we decided not to do anything risky to compete with Mercedes that could have meant we finished fifth, sixth or even lower."

Indeed, Williams' big haul of points in Austria meant the team leapfrogged its grandee rival McLaren for fifth in the Constructors' standings.

Smedley insisted: "If we had reacted to (Mercedes') first stop, our cars would not have finished the race. Mercedes had their problems but I don't think they were going at full speed."

Bottas says he is not disappointed with his first F1 podium, insisting Williams can now build on the momentum.

Bottas told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3: "I don't think this is a fluke result.

"The team has done a great job in bringing performance improvements to the car continuously.  This is just the beginning."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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