Formula 1

Williams storm qualifying to finish within touching distance of Mercedes

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The Williams Martini Racing team are in a perfect position to challenge for the podium in tomorrow’s grand prix after finishing the session in fourth and fifth place.

Behind only Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and the two Mercedes AMG Petronas speedsters, Williams will be looking to take at least third place at Shanghai as long as their pace stays as good as it is currently.

Felipe Massa was pleased that they could take the fight to his old team Ferrari, with both the Mercedes powered cars managing to split Vettel and team mate Kimi Raikkonen who will start sixth. Massa commented: “I am really happy with my lap. I managed to get the best out of the car and showed we are still in the fight with Ferrari. The car has improved throughout the weekend and we had the set-up correct for qualifying. Tomorrow is when it really counts so I hope we can have a strong race and get the most points on offer from the car.”

Valtteri Bottas will start in fifth place but is rueing problems with the rear of the car in qualifying that stunted his challenge for a higher starting position, saying: “It was quite a close qualifying, although I suffered with the rear of the car throughout the final session, which made it a bit harder. We know we need to work on our race pace, but we should be closer than we were in the first two races. The cars in front look strong so we have to concentrate on tyre degradation.”

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering, was pleased with the work put in by every member of team and is looking forward to a strong race on Sunday: “We managed to get the best out of the car from both drivers and qualifying in fourth and fifth is a pleasing result. We had a lot to do this morning after FP3 and we have delivered on the hard work, so I am happy. We have got ourselves into a good position for the race and are hoping for a strong result tomorrow.”


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