Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying
• Felipe Massa qualified third and Valtteri Bottas fourth for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
• Both drivers were pushing the Mercedes cars hard for a front row position, but neither driver was able to complete a clean final flying lap in Q3.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: A really good qualifying session for us with a great job by both drivers and car crews. It’s a little disappointing not to get the final run in for both drivers in Q3 – Felipe due to traffic and Valtteri after he went wide at Turn 4. We may have been able to move up a bit but we need to be satisfied as we’re in a good position for tomorrow and the car has been performing very well since it hit the track for the first time on Friday. The race is likely to be very unpredictable, with the weather conditions playing a factor as rain is likely. We therefore need to make sure we do everything correct. The objective has not changed; we want to finish third in the Championship and tomorrow is a chance to further solidify our position.
Felipe Massa: It was a great qualifying for me today and the reaction and energy from the fans was very special and emotional for me. This track has a special place in my heart as I was born here in São Paulo and I always get a lot of support. The car has been feeling really good all weekend and although the Mercedes cars still had more raw pace than us, the gap seems to have closed. There will be a lot of variables tomorrow, especially with the weather which always changes quickly here, so we need to prepare well for that tonight. I’m going into the race in a very good position and with less pressure than the guys in front so my goal is to finish on the podium and celebrate with my home fans.
Valtteri Bottas: The car has been improving throughout the weekend as the track has rubbered in and we were looking very competitive today, and were quite close to the Mercedes cars. I had a few mistakes in Q3 so I probably left a tenth out there which can make a lot of difference because the lap is so short, but on the whole I’m starting in a good position and we need to be happy with another second row lockout. I’m also happy for Felipe to be starting third at his home race and he had a great reaction from the crowd. The weather is likely to be wet tomorrow so we need to make sure as a team that we get the strategy right and give ourselves the best possible chance to finish on the podium.