Austrian Grand Prix 2016 – Qualifying
• Valtteri Bottas qualified eighth and Felipe Massa 10th for the Austrian Grand Prix
• Q3 began wet but dried through the session to allow drivers to switch to dry tyres with five minutes to go
• Felipe was the first car out on the ultrasoft tyre in Q3 and was provisionally P3, before falling to 10th as the cars behind him had improving track conditions on the final lap
• Valtteri was unable to match the pace of the cars around him as he struggled with tyre temperature on his last lap
Weather: Warm, damp/dry track
Temperature: Air: 26-28°C Track: 35-54°C
V. Bottas: 1:07.148 (5th)
F. Massa: 1:07.419 (8th)
Quickest time: N. Rosberg 1:06.516
V. Bottas: 1:06.991 (6th)
F. Massa: 1:07.145 (8th)
Quickest time: L. Hamilton 1:06.228
V. Bottas*: 1:10.440 (8th)
F. Massa: 1:11.977 (10th)
Quickest time: L. Hamilton 1:07.992
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: It was a disappointing session, the conditions at the end just didn’t work for us. It could have worked out in our favour if we’d got another lap in, but we didn’t. Felipe was the second car out with the dry tyre, so he had a little bit of a disadvantage there because we just missed getting that third lap, which Hulkenberg got. Valtteri was fourth last across the line and it wasn’t too bad for him, but we expected a little bit more from today. We’ve got to look forward to tomorrow, the car is quick on high fuel and was quick this morning when we were about half a second off Mercedes and pointing towards the front, right in the mix with Ferrari and Red Bull. With a dry day tomorrow, we can be competitive.
Valtteri Bottas: Qualifying was a special case today with the conditions in Q3. Everything was looking good in Q1 and Q2 in the dry, but tyre warm-up was difficult in the mixed conditions. In the beginning we struggled with the intermediate tyres, and once we got onto the slicks the main problem was to try to get heat into the tyres. But the race is tomorrow and there is the possibility to overtake here, so I’m sure we can have a better day. I think in any conditions we need to try to aim to have both cars in the top five, that’s a good target for us tomorrow.
Felipe Massa: The conditions in Q3 were very tricky, one lap you’re third, then the next lap you’re 10th. It’s very difficult to understand the situation when the track is improving so much. I was the first car to start the last lap, so the last car had the track a lot drier. But that’s the way it is, so let’s concentrate on tomorrow to try to have a good race, a good strategy and finish with very good points.
*Valtteri will start P7 as a result of Sebastian Vettel’s five-place grid penalty incurred due to a gearbox change