Valtteri Bottas put in an excellent final lap in Q3 to steal third place from fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen, during qualifying on Saturday.
The Finn will start from the front row of the grid however, due to the five place grid penalty received by Sebastian Vettel for a gearbox change, and the Williams Martini Racing driver is optimistic of achieving a good result in the race.
“I’m very pleased with our qualifying performance; it was the maximum result I think we could have achieved, and my lap in Q3 was very good,” said Bottas. “It now puts us in a very good position for the race and we need to focus on turning a good qualifying, into a good race performance.
“This is a track that I really like and normally do well at, and it’s a track that suits our car. The new parts we have introduced are helping us, so the team at the factory and track have done a good job in improving the car. We have some fast cars starting behind us which will make the race difficult, but a podium will be the target.”
Team-mate Felipe Massa will start from fourth place on the grid for the 2016 Russian Grand Prix after a good session, and the Brazilian believes the team are capable of scoring some strong points on Sunday, at the Sochi Autodrom track.
“It was a good qualifying for us as starting P2 and P4 is positive,” said Massa. “We were a bit lucky with the penalties for Ferrari and Mercedes but I think it was definitely a good session. We just need to concentrate to have a good race tomorrow.
“Anything is possible and it’s probably the best track for us so far this season, so we’ll try and put everything together in the race.”
Following a strong qualifying session for the Williams F1 team, the Oxfordshire based squad are confident of being quick here at the Sochi Autodrom, a track where the FW38 appears to work well. The team believe they have a real chance of outperforming the Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing teams this weekend, and that will be there aim in Sunday’s race.