Bottas stars as Williams reclaims P4 in constructors’ at Monza

© Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas led Williams’ charge during Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza as the British team reclaimed fourth place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship.

Williams slipped behind rivals Force India to fifth place in the teams’ standings last weekend in Belgium, trailing by two points.

After qualifying fifth on Saturday, Bottas ran as high as fourth early on at Monza before eventually crossing the line sixth, losing out to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in the final stages.

Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth and 10th respectively for Force India, the duo split by Felipe Massa in the second Williams.

As a result, Williams moved back up to fourth place in the constructors’ championship, leading Force India by three points heading to Singapore.

“To be honest, I was really hoping for more from today – podium was the target,” Bottas conceded to NBCSN after the race.

“We just didnt have the pace. We thought we could challenge Ferrari and Red Bull, but it wasn’t the case. It looked like in practice that our race pace was good. But others gained more from practice to the race.

“We didn’t have the pure pace… we struggled at end of stints so we had to pit earlier. We definitely hoped for more points from this weekend.

“But we did get more than Force India, which is the main thing for us.”

Perez finished 13 seconds behind Bottas in P8 for Force India, but expected little more from the race.

“A very lonely race most of the time! I just did my race, focused on myself, looked after tires at the beginning of the stint,” Perez told NBCSN.

“We were really optimistic but stopped way too early for the last stint. So had a long run on the last set of tires.

“We were as expected in terms of pace and how the car performed today. I don’t think we could have done any better today. Happy we got everything that was available.”

P9 marked Massa’s best result since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, but, like Bottas, he expected more pace from the FW38 car.

“I think it was a good race apart from the fact that we didn’t have the pace we expected to have with the option tyres,” Massa said.

“My race started after I changed on to the super-soft tyres and my pace was really good. If I could have got a bit more out of my tires then it could have been better.

“But I’m pleased that we managed to get enough points to take fourth place back in the constructors’ championship.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.