Valtteri Bottas: “We always knew it was going to be challenging for us here”

The weekend in Singapore for the Williams Martini Racing team has so far been more difficult than most expected it to be, and this was still evident during qualifying when Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa could only qualify seventh and ninth respectively.

Bottas felt qualifying showed good improvement, even if he was lucky to make it through to Q3 when Carlos Sainz Jr crashed and left debris on the circuit in the final sector, causing some quicker-looking laps to be aborted, but the Finn is hoping to get some luck during the race.

“Given Friday, it’s a good starting position for tomorrow,” said Bottas. “We always knew it was going to be challenging for us here and we improved from practice to get both cars inside the top 10.

“I’m pleased with my lap, I think I got everything I could from the car so it’s a good result. This is a race where anything can happen and we are going to be there so everything is still open.”

Team-mate Massa revealed he made a mistake on his final quick lap during qualifying that he felt cost him a few positions, and hopes to get the best result possible during the race on a circuit he knows does not suit the Williams team.

“It wasn’t an easy qualifying session,” reflected Massa. “I made a mistake in Q3 and lost time that would have put me a few positions further up. We only had one set of new tyres for Q3 so I tried everything I could, maybe too much.

“The position at the end could have been much better, but this is not a fantastic track for us so we’ll concentrate on getting the best we can from the race tomorrow.”