HOCKENHEIM, 20th July 2014 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) - The Williams, particularly in the hands of Valtteri Bottas, has been the firm ‘best of the rest’ behind the dominant Mercedes in recent weeks.
It continued today with Bottas’s fine run to finish in second place in the German Grand Prix, which also resulted in the team overtaking Ferrari to sit third the constructors’ table.
Afterwards the team’s head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley reckoned that Williams should be aiming higher still.
Upon being asked if Williams should now seek to chase down Red Bull in second spot Smedley said: “I think that should be our target yes,
"with how good the car is at the minute, how quick it is, and the development we’ve got coming through, which is mightily impressive, (a) good step coming for Budapest, going to Spa and Monza which are two circuits that will definitely suit the car, then why not?
“We don’t have to stop” he went on, “the ambition of this team is to win the world championship eventually, and that means you’ve got to beat teams like Ferrari, you’ve got to beat teams like Red Bull and you’ve got to beat teams like Mercedes. They’re all targets and we’ll be going after them all.
“I don’t think that it’s an accident that we have consistently the second quickest car. I don’t think it’s an accident that we’re now third in the championship.
“The main thing is that we keep maintaining the car, the development, the performance that we’ve had for the past few races. We just keep going after the teams in front of us.”
When asked whether he expected upon joining the Grove team at the start of the campaign that it would be P3 in the constructors’ table halfway through this season Smedley said: “No, absolutely not.
“When I first had contact with this team it was very clear that it was a team that there was enough resource, budget, all the rest of it, that we’d eventually get ourselves back to where this team should be.
"I didn’t expect that it was going to be so quick, so that has been a little bit surprising, but it’s a nice problem to have to be honest and I’d rather have that problem than it be taking three years longer than we expected. We’re probably six months, maybe nine months ahead of where I expected us to be.”
Smedley was equally happy with how the team and driver Bottas operated in the Finn’s run to second today.
“Happy with how the whole thing’s progressing really, a fantastic drive, very very good footwork from the team, excellent team work, you couldn’t hope for better than that, the synergy between all of us together is fantastic. The tyre management, and Valtteri’s involved in that a lot as well, really really happy with how it’s going.”
Bottas was equally happy with things, as well as equally ambitious for the team’s future.
“We did everything perfectly and managed to keep Lewis behind in the end which got us an extra few points but in the future, we are definitely aiming for more and this is not the maximum," Bottas said.