Williams duo comes up short after impressive British GP start

Felipe Massa drives ahead of Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 5, 2015.

Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, admits that the team was disappointed to miss out on a podium finish at Silverstone after running so strongly early in the race.

Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas ran first and second initially, but eventually finished fourth and fifth after losing out badly in the rain-affected closing laps.

"We know there is no magic to it," said Smedley. "Once the Mercedes is sat beside you and they have a quicker car it was going to be awfully difficult to have both our cars in front of both of theirs. We do have a fair degree of pragmatism, but we do want to come here and race, come here and win or come here and get both cars on the podium. It hasn’t happened so therefore of course we are all racers, and we are all disappointed."

Williams faced a difficult challenge in the first part of the race as Bottas wanted to get ahead of Massa, while the team wanted the two drivers to focus on pulling clear of the Mercedes duo behind. Bottas was told he could make a move, but only if it was "clean."

"The absolute key point there was that we didn’t want to get held up fighting each other too hard. And that was the message that we gave. Because if we were fighting each other too hard then we wouldn’t be pulling away from Mercedes, so we were sure we could have a reasonable pace against them.

"As long as we were not holding each other up, as long as they were not fighting hard and battling, which is what was happening in those first laps and going back into the clutches of Mercedes. We didn’t want to do that obviously, after a couple of laps, we said if you can make a clean pass then that is absolutely fine, you are racing again."

Despite the disappointment, Smedley said that the weekend had several positives.

Hamilton rallies back from bad start to win rain-impacted British GP

"I think the weekend on the whole for us has been really really positive. We came here thinking our car would be good here. All the upgrades we did, the developments worked really, really well. It is the first weekend since the start of the season, even though inching closer, where we have been faster than our closest competitor Ferrari.

"We were faster in qualifying, we had a similar pace advantage in the race in the dry, so the thing we will take from that is that it was a really positive weekend. What is clear is that in the dry we were the second quickest car here and clearly the second quickest car, so that has been a really positive weekend for us."