Valtteri Bottas qualified fourth and Felipe Massa eighth in the first ever night qualifying session in Bahrain. Following Ricciardo’s 10-place penalty from the Malaysian GP, Valtteri will start third with Felipe seventh in tomorrow’s race. After doing extensive testing here during the winter, the team feel confident that its race pace will allow the drivers to challenge for some good points in tomorrow.
Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance: The team did an excellent job throughout the whole of qualifying, so we are very happy. We have good race pace which we showed in testing and with Ricciardo’s penalty we’ll be P3 and P7 on the grid, which is a good step forward towards where we want to be. We are also starting on the clean side of the grid, which is an added advantage. The FW36 has good overtaking capabilities so we are feeling positive for tomorrow. Overall, it’s been a good day to start off my time at Williams.
Valtteri Bottas: It was a good qualifying session; I think we got the maximum potential out of the car today. After the Red Bull penalty we are third and after the last two races it’s good to see the full potential of the car on a Saturday. We haven’t done too many laps this weekend so there are things we can still improve for the race, but if we get the strategy right and take the opportunities that come our way we should be in for a good result.
Felipe Massa: That was not a very easy qualifying. I made a few mistakes on my lap in Q3 as I had a bit of oversteer, so lost some time and I really should have been quicker. We will start P7 tomorrow after Ricciardo’s penalty and it’s a long race so a lot could happen. We look competitive which is good to see, and we are in the fight for tomorrow.