Felipe Massa earned his first podium of the season – and the second for Williams – after he managed to keep Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari at bay in Austria.
The German had been in front initially only to lose time with a wheel issue in the pits. Massa then had to stay in front for the second half of the race, and he was able to so despite Vettel being less than a second behind in the closing laps.
“I think it was a great result today,” said Massa. “So we managed to get the opportunities, which was a mistake of another team or Sebastian, I don’t know what’s happened so I cannot say. But [it was] enough, and we managed to keep the pace, which was good – but maybe a little bit slower compared to him.
“I expected him to be close to me at the end of the race and he was, but I managed to keep him behind which was the most important thing.”
Massa admitted he wasn’t sure he could hold Vettel off: “I think he got very close with maybe 10 laps to go. I thought it could have been possible. We know that Ferrari manage the tyres very well, especially at the end of the race. We did maybe 40 laps, maybe more with these tyres, so I expected him to be strong at the end of the race, and he was.
“But you never know, I had to defend myself so I think when you are defending, you don’t know what’s going to happen, so you just need to try and do your best and not make any mistakes. I think that was the only point that I had in mind, so I tried not to make any mistakes and if he was going overtake me because he managed to get the right line or pass me, you don’t know. But I was trying, and we managed to make this happen.”
Although Williams is still a long way behind Ferrari in the championship, the gap has closed.
“I think it was very good for the team. It was important points against Ferrari, also, looking at what’s happened to Kimi today. So, we are not giving up, we will fight until the end. We understand that maybe they have a little bit of a quicker car compared to us, but we are working very hard to improve and to be there and really trying to get back the points that they are in front, which is not easy, but it is what we’re trying.”