Valtteri Bottas has voiced his dismay at being told not to overtake his Williams teammate Felipe Massa for the lead of the British Grand Prix.
Bottas received the team order early on in the event, when the Williams cars were running 1-2 after both produced stunning launches off the startline.
Bottas was later informed he could attack Massa, but replied on the radio that it was “too late” as his tyres lost their edge.
“At that point I think I had a bit more pace,” said Bottas. “I had one or two really good opportunities [to pass] at the point when I was not allowed to race him, so obviously for me it’s a bit disappointing.
“I’m sure there is some thinking behind it, and we need to go through what could have been possible today. For sure we’re going to go through everything, what could have been done better, but when you’re not allowed to race, and have more pace than the car in front, then it is difficult."
Bottas would finish fifth, only just ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull.
“I think our main problem today was stopping one lap too late for inters, and then losing quite a lot of time on that tyre. We definitely would have preferred it to stay dry, we struggled again in the wet conditions.”
Massa stung by slow pitstop
Massa, who finished fourth after leading the opening third of the race, refuted Bottas’s claim that he should have been allowed to pass him.
“On the hard tyre I was quicker, so it was definitely not the right thing to do [to let him past],” said Massa. “Plus he was on the DRS, it was much easier for him to follow me on the long straights. Without DRS, we would have had similar pace.”
Massa also suffered a slow first pitstop, which cost him his lead to Lewis Hamilton and almost a spot to Nico Rosberg at the time.
“The biggest problem was because my pitstop was slow because we had to clean the rear wing. It was too long, I almost lost two positions, and had to fight Nico in the pitlane.
“Then the rain came and we stopped too late, which was frustrating. Not to be on the podium here is a big shame.”