F1 2015 team preview: Williams Martini Racing

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Williams Martini Racing

Drivers
No. 77 Valtteri Bottas
No. 19 Felipe Massa

First Race: 1978 Argentine Grand Prix
Grands Prix: 619
Pole Positions: 
128
Fastest Laps: 
133
Race Wins: 
114
Constructors’ Championships: 
9
2014 Championship Result: 
3rd (320 points)

After spending a decade in the doldrums, Williams came back with a vengeance in 2014. The British team made a clean break with the past, canning all negativity and ushering in a new backroom team under the leadership of technical director Pat Symonds. The switch to Mercedes engines was an inspired one, with Felipe Massa’s arrival also giving the team some much-needed experience as it soared to third place in the constructors’ championship with nine podium finishes in total.

For 2015, the team will be looking for bigger and better things. Valtteri Bottas was one of the breakout stars of 2014, and he is now chasing a maiden grand prix victory. The flying Finn has already won the attention of Mercedes, being named as a possible replacement for Lewis Hamilton should the Briton not renew his contract. Both he and Massa must remain focused this year and try to pick up the pieces in the wake of a Mercedes collapse should it occur, and judging by pre-season testing, the FW37 is leading the way for P2 in the constructors’ championship.

VALTTERI BOTTAS No. 77

If the Williams chassis is up to it, and judging by preseason testing it should be, Bottas could become a first-time Grand Prix winner in 2015. The nice thing about Bottas is that he doesn’t go out of his way to hide his hunger. While podiums at Spielberg and Silverstone were nice surprises, podiums by Abu Dhabi were expected. Compared to Ricciardo, who’s facing a new inter-team rival, Bottas and Felipe Massa should mesh even better for their second season together. He’s fast, focused, very good in terms of feedback and determined to improve upon what was already a breakout 2014 season.

FELIPE MASSA No. 19

Massa’s career took a positive turn in 2014 after he left Ferrari, faring far better than his replacement Kimi Raikkonen and looking far more relaxed with Williams. He certainly missed out on a number of big points-scoring opportunities, but many of these incidents were out of his control. A victory so nearly came in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year, and should Mercedes drop the ball in 2015, you can count on Massa to be there to pick it up. He may never reach the lofty heights of his near-miss for the title in 2008, but 2015 could prove to be one of the best years in Massa’s F1 career.

IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.


IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information

COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:53 p.m.

GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis