United States Grand Prix Qualifying
• Valtteri Bottas qualified third and Felipe Massa fourth for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix.
• Both drivers showed strong and consistent pace in all three sessions to lock out the second row of the grid.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We came into this weekend expecting to have the second fastest car and we have met our expectations so far by qualifying third and fourth. Realising your targets is not always an easy thing to do in qualifying because there are so many variables, so it was a very good job by the team and the drivers. There are a number of strategies open to us and we now need to do our homework to understand how we protect these positions and possibly move forwards in the race.
Valtteri Bottas: A very good session today and I felt like I got everything out of the car that I could with two good flying laps. It took me a while this week to get the balance right and to get the car to a stage where I could fully trust it, but we got it right when it mattered. It will be difficult to catch the Mercedes cars as they are still ahead in terms of raw pace so we need to be ready to capitalise in case they have any problems, but also to not do anything too risky as we need to stay ahead of those behind us.
Felipe Massa: Another strong qualifying performance from the team and third and fourth is the best we could have achieved today. The car is looking competitive and whilst Mercedes are still looking very strong, we are the best of the rest and we showed good long run pace yesterday which is encouraging for tomorrow. I would have liked to have finished ahead of Valtteri because I’m now on the dirty side of the grid, but I still have a good chance to finish on the podium so we need to make sure that we get the strategy right to make the most of our speed.