The Williams Martini Racing duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were once again the best of the rest behind the dominant Mercedes duo up front, locking out the second row of the grid for the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.
Bottas believed he got the best result possible out of his car with the Mercedes team not encountering any issues to finish third fastest, and was happy that he finally got the balance right on his Williams after struggling with it during practice.
“A very good session today and I felt like I got everything out of the car that I could with two good flying laps,” insisted Bottas. “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.”
Team-mate Massa was hoping to beat Bottas in qualifying but was forced to settle for fourth, but felt it was another positive session for the team. He feels positive for the race after being encouraged by his long pace run during practice, and wants to finish on the podium for the second time this season.
“Another strong qualifying performance from the team and third and fourth is the best we could have achieved today,” said Massa. “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.”