The Williams Martini Racing team locked out the third row of the grid in Bahrain, with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa, with the Finn out-qualifying the Brazilian by just over three-tenths of a second.
Bottas felt that fifth on the grid was representative of where the Williams is at present, and was happy to finally have a clean qualifying session this season. He knows the race will be tougher, but is hoping for a strong performance on Sunday.
“I’m not unhappy to get P5 as it is representative of our pace,” said Bottas. “The race is long and will be tougher than today, the start will be especially important considering Turn One can produce problems.
“As a team we did a good job, we got the best out of the tyres and it is refreshing to finally get a clean qualifying session.”
Team-mate Massa will start sixth, and the Brazilian agreed with Bottas that fifth and sixth is where the Williams’ are where they should be on the grid with the pace of the cars as they are right now. He feels there could be opportunity to overtake during the race, and hopes for a positive result on Sunday.
“I did a great lap in Q2, so was upset not to replicate this in Q3 after a few mistakes,” said Massa. “The best position I could have achieved today was P5 and Valtteri has that, so the cars are where they should be.
“Overtaking is possible here so we can have a good race, but tyre management and strategy will be important. I am not unhappy, we are not out of position and there is a long race ahead tomorrow.”