- British GP - Qualifying
'Catalogue of errors' cost Williams in qualifying
Williams joined Ferrari as the high-profile casualties from the dramatic first session, with both teams delaying when the track had clearly dried enough for slicks. By the time Williams had bolted medium tyres on to its cars the rain returned, meaning Bottas and Massa were unable to escape from the drop zone.
As well as relying too heavily on the radar, Massa insists the team was just too slow at putting mediums on the car at the crucial moment.
"We didn't make the right strategy today, we made a mistake definitely," he said. "I always put myself in the middle of the decision, I can also say I even asked to go but on our computer radar it was not raining any more in Q1. We trusted that and we waited so long to go.
"But even like that it wasn't so bad because we managed to do fifth and sixth and then we stopped and we took too long to change the tyres. We lost maybe one-minute-and-a-half more than what we were supposed to do in a normal time…That was two timed laps, one in the wet, one in the dry, so we lost our opportunity there. Many cars were already out on track already on the track improving sectors so it was not difficult [to see], we just took too long to change the tyres."
Bottas thinks Williams was right to go by the readings of the radar because it was hard to visually gauge what the weather was going to do from the pit wall and in the cockpit.
"There was nothing in the radar, even when it rained at the end of Q1 we didn't see it on the radar. That was tricky but it's the same for everyone. It's a tough one when you can't see anything in the radar, you can't see so far away. The main bit where it was raining was Turn 6/7. If you look out you can't see. When we went out the first couple of corners were ok, I thought we were going to be good, once I exited Turn 5 I saw the rain coming and it just went more and more."
Head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley is making no excuses for the team but says it would be wrong to pin the blame solely on one area.
"It was fairly simple, we got out too late in the final run and got caught out by the weather. That's fundamentally what happened today. All of these things, it's never down to one thing. It's always a catalogue of errors, not always errors, circumstances, that lead to things not working out as you plan. We will look back and review everything, both the decision-making process and what we did operationally and we will review it rationally."