The Williams Martini Racing team had a positive start to the first Austrian Grand Prix since 2003, with both Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa finishing in the top ten in both free practice sessions.
Bottas ended the first session at the Red Bull Ring in eighth but improved to fourth in the second session, and really enjoyed driving around the track. He is hopeful of a strong performance during qualifying that will give him a good chance of points in the race.
“It’s a really nice track; I think it will become one of my favourites,” said Bottas. “It’s an old-school track with some high speed sections and no room for mistakes. With long straights it should also make racing here interesting too.
“It’s not an easy track to set the car up for as you face different issues with each corner, Turn One is an uphill right-hander and Turn Three is a downhill right-hander, both at different speeds, so we will have to analyse the data to find what works best for us. Qualifying will be very tight so it will come down to who can put the lap together best.”
Team-mate Massa was also positive after the practice sessions. He was fourth in the opening session and fifth in the second, and feels the balance of the car is pretty good already. He knows the weekend is not going to be easy but he feels ready for the fight in a tightly packed midfield.
“It has been a good Friday,” admitted Massa. “To return here and be where we are is encouraging. The balance of the car was good and the car behaviour was positive so we will be there fighting.
“It’s not an easy track and so many things can happen as we have learnt today, so we have to be consistent. It’s great to be up there with Ferrari but you can’t ignore any of the teams behind you and we will be ready for anything.”