The Williams Martini Racing team head to the Sochi Autodrom this weekend for the Russian Grand Prix expecting to be in the hunt for a podium finish.
Valtteri Bottas did finish inside the top three in Russia last year, and believes the FW37 should suit their car this weekend as well, and expects to be close to the pace of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team.
“We had a good result last year in Russia so we’re expecting another strong weekend and a good collection of points,” said Bottas. “We all know the track now and it has a really good flow, with the long straights a good fit for our car.
“The fans were passionate last year so we look forward to putting on another good show for them. Pace wise we were close to Mercedes in Japan and I think we can be close again in Sochi, just like we were in 2014.”
Whereas Bottas finished on the podium in 2014, team-mate Felipe Massa was having a less impressive weekend, qualifying down in eighteenth and missing out on the points on the Sunday in eleventh.
The Brazilian is looking to make amends this weekend, and knows getting the set-up of the car for the mixture of long straights and tight corners right is essential, but feels the team could have a competitive weekend.
“Russia is a very nice track with a few long straights which makes it interesting for overtaking,” said Massa.
“The circuit has almost everything, starting with a straight and then moving into high-speed corners and then very slow corners in the middle sector. This makes setting up the car really important and the importance of downforce evident.
“I hope to make amends for qualifying last year and I’m confident we can have a competitive race.”