The Williams Martini Racing team had a good qualifying session in Hungary, with Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas third and Brazilian Felipe Massa sixth at the Hungaroring.
Bottas continued his good run of form by putting his Williams third on the grid, and admitted it was a bit of a surprise to be so high on the grid with the nature of the Hungaroring circuit not thought to suit the car.
“We are maybe a little surprised,” said Bottas. “We knew Red Bull were going to be really quick here, also Ferrari, and Mercedes like always. The nature of the track, in theory, for us is not the best but we have worked well as a team and brought updates that have worked well.
“We’re still missing some grip compared to some others cars but today was a good day for us. Third and sixth on the grid gives us a chance to get some good points tomorrow.”
Team-mate Massa was disappointed that traffic affected his lap in the final part of qualifying to finish down in sixth, but is optimistic of a good result, providing he makes it around the first lap intact, unlike at Silverstone and Hockenheim where he was the unfortunate victim of accidents.
“It was a very tough qualifying, especially with the weather,” said Massa. “The biggest problem I had was traffic in Q3, I had to overtake maybe five cars on that lap so I couldn’t put a time together. It was a shame, but we’ll try to do the best we can tomorrow in the race.”
Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley was happy with how his drivers managed the difficult conditions in qualifying to both place in the top six. He is hopeful for a strong result for both drivers to keep the Ferrari team at bay behind them in the Constructors’ championship.
“It was a difficult, changeable qualifying session with a lot of decisions out of the ordinary to be made, but the team reacted very well as you can see by us and Red Bull being the only teams to have two cars there at the end,” said Smedley. “Valtteri strung together a really good lap. Felipe missed out on his lap, which is unfortunate because he would have been further up the grid.
“In terms of where we are in the championship, I’m happy. We’ve got a really big race on tomorrow to keep Ferrari back and to see if we can close down the gap to Red Bull, which is definitely possible.”