Felipe Massa finished 4th, with Valtteri Bottas classified 12th after an accident on the final lap ended his chances of a podium in today’s Russian Grand Prix.
Valtteri was set for third place after overtaking Perez on the penultimate lap on newer tyres, but was hit by Raikkonen on the final lap and his race ended in the barrier at T4.
Starting down in P15, Felipe drove a strong and consistent race to make his way through the pack and score some valuable points for the team.
Congratulations to Mercedes who have clinched the 2015 Constructors’ Championship today.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: Obviously we are bitterly disappointed to lose what looked like a deserved podium finish on the last lap of the race. The team has done a good job and made the right strategy calls, and both drivers did a fantastic job, so to come away with less points than we should have and no silverware is frustrating. Pirelli did a good job with the tyres this week and on different strategies our cars managed to make them work for us when needed. We now have to go on to the USA and Mexico in good spirits and to use the positives of this race weekend and the strong pace we have shown to make amends and have another strong weekend.
Valtteri Bottas: It was quite a strange race with lots of accidents and safety cars, and we managed to do a very good job as a team to give me a good shot at the podium. I was running in P3 on the last lap and then I was hit from behind in Turn 4 and that was it. It’s difficult to describe the disappointment because the team has worked so hard all week to get a good result, and then the result we feel like we deserved was lost with only one lap remaining. It’s a tough end to the weekend.
Felipe Massa: It was a good result for me today and we managed to do well to fight back from a disappointing qualifying yesterday. I lost a bit of time behind slower cars at the beginning of the race because I was on harder tyres than those around me, but the pace was very good on the supersofts at the end. This allowed me to close up and be in a position to collect more points on the final lap due to the incidents up ahead.
Track Sochi Autodrom, Russia Weather Cool and Dry
Lap Length 5.848kms / 3.633 miles Temperature Air: 18-19°C Track: 26-28°C
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap (fastest Lap) Grid Pitstops
1. L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:37:11.024 (1:40.573) 2 1 (32)
2. S. Vettel Ferrari +5.953 (1:40.071) 4 1 (30)
3. S. Perez Force India +28.918 (1:41.772) 7 1 (12)
4. F. Massa WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING +38.831 (1:40.881) 15 1 (30)
12. V. Bottas WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING DNF (1:41.134) 3 1 (26)