Valtteri Bottas: “That was quite a tricky qualifying session”

Valtteri Bottas - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Valtteri Bottas qualified outside the top ten for the Malaysian Grand Prix after struggling for pace on Saturday, but admitted the balance of his car was not that bad during the session.

The Williams Martini Racing driver will have the benefit of selecting his starting tyre for the race on Sunday, but missed out on joining team-mate Felipe Massa inside the top ten by just 0.039 seconds.

Bottas believes that the team can still challenge Force India, their main rivals in the championship, in the race on Sunday, and hopes the balance of the car is better on race day.

“That was quite a tricky qualifying session for us,” revealed Bottas. “I actually wasn’t very happy with the front end of the car, I felt like the balance was better in today’s practice, especially around turns six, seven and eight.

“I struggled with understeer and because of that I didn’t quite get a perfect lap in. It was very close and I’m sure tomorrow will be just as close.

“We do have a free choice of tyres to start tomorrow’s race, so our goal is still to have both of our cars ahead of Force India. I believe it’s possible. We can definitely score some good points from where we’re starting and I’m sure the understeer and balance of the car will be better for the race.”