Valtteri Bottas: “It’s always a good feeling to split the Ferraris”

Valtteri Bottas felt he got the most out of his qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya with fourth place, but Williams Martini Racing team-mate Felipe Massa was disappointed with his ninth place on the grid after making a mistake on his quick lap.

Bottas was happy to qualify fourth, and be ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, and hopes to be able to keep him behind him on Sunday. He ended the session over a second off the pace of the pole time set by Rosberg, but felt fourth was the maximum he could have achieved.

“It’s always a good feeling to split the Ferraris,” insisted Bottas. “We knew that if we got everything right we could be close and that’s what happened. It was pretty much the maximum we could do today.

“If we can get a good start and get the strategy right, then maybe we can have a repeat of Bahrain and keep one of the Ferraris behind us. We have improved the race pace in the past few weeks but we know Ferrari are still strong on long runs, so it’s up to us to do what we can to stay in front.”

Team-mate Massa made a mistake on his quick lap in final qualifying, having only been able to run one lap with new tyres in Q3 after being forced to use two sets in Q2 to be guaranteed to make it through. He was disappointed with his ninth place grid slot but hopes to move forward on Sunday.

“I’m disappointed because I made a mistake in Turn 3 on my flying lap in Q3, running off the track which lost me a lot of time,” said Massa.

“I had to use two sets of options in Q2 to make sure that I was safe, so that one timed lap in Q3 had to be it. Without that mistake I could have been in the top five.

“The car’s long run pace looked solid yesterday so provided we get a clean start I should be able to move forwards, so there is still a lot to play for tomorrow with a good amount of points on offer.”