• Valtteri Bottas qualified third and Felipe Massa fifteenth for tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix.
• Valtteri showed strong and consistent pace in all qualifying sessions to start P3 for the second year in a row.
• Traffic on his first quick laps and a mistake when the tyres were past their best prevented Felipe from making it through into Q3.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: Valtteri did a fantastic job today. He kept chipping away and putting in good laps, and when it counted he delivered what he needed to do. We had very little data to go into that qualifying session with, but the team worked really well to try and understand what we had to do in terms of tyre strategy and that bore fruit for Valtteri in Q3. Felipe’s qualifying didn’t go to plan which is a shame because with the pace of the car he was definitely on for a second or third row position. The car is looking very quick around here so we need to convert this into a podium for Valtteri, and with Felipe we have the car to make our way through the pack and score some good points.
Valtteri Bottas: It was a strong job by the team today – we managed to set-up the car well and maximise our performance. I felt very good in the car all day and managed to get in a rhythm quickly and put in consistent lap times despite the limited number of laps we had completed in practice. Tomorrow is where it really matters but I have put myself in a very good position to capitalise.
Felipe Massa: I made a mistake at turn eight in my first timed lap in Q2, and then in my final two attempts I came up against a lot of traffic which lost me a lot of time. On my final run my tyres were gone at the rear and that was the end of my chances. It’s a shame and I’m very disappointed, but I have a quick car around here so we need to have a good strategy and use our pace to move up into the points tomorrow.