United States Grand Prix 2016 – Qualifying
Valtteri Bottas qualified eighth and Felipe Massa ninth for the United States Grand Prix.
After a relatively straight forward qualifying session, both cars progressed from Q1 to Q2 on supersoft tyres. Valtteri completed one timed lap to finish in P10, with Felipe finishing ahead in P9 after two timed laps.
In Q2, Valtteri advanced to Q3 in P9 after two laps, and Felipe finished P10 after one lap; with only a hundredth of a second between them.
One timed lap each in Q3 saw Felipe cross the line at the chequered flag in ninth, followed by Valtteri in eighth position.
Weather: Hot and dry
Temperature: Air 23-25°C Track 34-37°C
F. Massa: 1:37.402 (9th)
V. Bottas: 1:37.456 (10th)
Quickest time: L. Hamilton 1:36.296
V. Bottas: 1:37.202 (9th)
F. Massa: 1:37.214 (10th)
Quickest time: D. Ricciardo 1:36.255
V. Bottas: 1:37.116
F. Massa: 1:37.269
Quickest time: L. Hamilton: 1:34.999
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: Today was a reasonable qualifying performance. We will never be getting too excited about finishing eighth and ninth, but knowing where the car is at this point in the season we have to be reasonably happy. The car wasn’t looking great on low fuel pace yesterday, so we’ve just been chipping away at improving it. I don’t think we’ve managed to get all of the pace out of both cars, but the work we have done overnight has put us in a more respectable position. Our long run pace has been quite strong so far this week, so the goal was to get in amongst our competitors in the championship today. We’ve done that, so we are well set to have a good race tomorrow.
Valtteri Bottas: This was a good qualifying for us as a team. We’re in-between the Force India’s for the start of the race tomorrow, and that’s after they had more pace than us today. Hopefully, tomorrow it will be a different case. It’s going to be a long race and we know we can compete against them with our race pace. The progress we’ve made since today’s practice with our set-up will hopefully help us, as it’s going to be a very close and aggressive battle with Force India. We need to do everything we can to be ahead of both of them. It’s a battle we can win.
Felipe Massa: The positive from today’s qualifying is that both cars are right in the middle of the Force India’s so we are well positioned to race them tomorrow. The only downside is that the gap to Hulkenberg’s car is bigger than we would have liked, but our car is feeling better on long runs at this track than shorter runs which will help us tomorrow. We need to get everything right in the race tomorrow, especially the strategy, to maximise the points we score.