F1 2015 Preview: Williams

2014 Statistics

Constructors Championship: 3rd
Wins: 0
Podiums: 9
Pole positions: 1
Points finishes: 28

The only team other than Mercedes to score a pole position in 2014, Williams were the closest matched in terms of pace to the dominating force last season. It was quite the turnaround for Williams, who languished in ninth place with just five points in 2013. The addition of key technical staff to their team such as Pat Symonds and an experienced driver in the form of Felipe Massa were amongst the factors which really helped them turn their form around. They also swapped to Mercedes engines which helped to give them an edge.

A revitalised Massa joined the team from Ferrari last year and what an inspired move it was for the Brazilian driver. It was like he got a second wind and he scored three podiums during the 2014 season. Caught out in first lap accidents in Australia and Great Britain – which weren’t his fault – there were a few times where he lost out on potential big points score. He was also the only driver outside of the Mercedes team to start a race on pole position. He eventually finished the year in seventh place – behind former team-mate Fernando Alonso but ahead of his replacement at Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen.

2014 was a breakthrough year for Valtteri Bottas. Having impressed while testing for Williams but unable to show his full potential when he made his racing debut in 2013, Bottas shone last season. His first podium came at the Austrian Grand Prix, after he and team-mate Massa locked out the front row in qualifying. He finished third then and went on to finish second in Great Britain and Germany, and third in Belgium, Russia and the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Overall he finished fourth in the championship and will no doubt be looking to improve on that this year.

Williams has had a positive pre-season testing completing a solid number of laps and enjoying good reliability. Both drivers will be looking to improve on last year as well as trying to get closer to the Mercedes duo. The task for this year will be wins after coming close in 2o14 but not quite getting there. Massa hasn’t won a race since his title challenge in 2008 while Bottas is looking for his first victory. Both drivers are equally capable of winning but who will do it first?

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