Williams’ Austrian 3-4 provides huge statistical boost; flashback to glory years

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The new set of Formula One regulations has provided the necessary pecking order shakeup through the rest of the grid, and one team that’s excelled in doing so is Williams Martini Racing, now with Mercedes engines.

It’s been a refreshing sight.

The third and fourth place results for Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa on Sunday, following their front-row lockout on Saturday, marked the first time Williams placed two cars in the top five of a Grand Prix since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix, when Nick Heidfeld was second and Mark Webber third in the pair of then Williams-BMWs. That was a day that like Bottas in Austria, Webber stood on an F1 podium for the first time. Fittingly, they lost out to a Mercedes as well that day, in Kimi Raikkonen’s McLaren.

By virtue of the Austrian Grand Prix result, Williams has now scored 85 points this season – which in itself is a massive number. Why, you ask? Combined the last three seasons, under this points system, Williams has scored just 86 (76 in 2012, with 5 in both 2011 and 2013). Their next score this year will exceed that number for the last three years.

At the 85-point marker, Williams is well on its way to its first 100-plus point season in the Constructor’s Championship since 2003, when 144 points brought the team second in the standings. That was under the old 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system, the first year that system had been introduced.

Williams is also seeking its first top-five Constructor’s Championship result since 2007, when Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz brought the team a fourth-place finish (fifth on the road, but bumped up a spot due to McLaren’s exclusion).

Bottom line, for those fans and observers who witnessed Williams as a race and World Championship-winning organization from the early 1980s all the way through the mid-to-late 1990s, it’s refreshing to see the efforts of so many in Sir Frank Williams’ squad rewarded with the outright potential and results the team is capable of.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”