Williams Martini Racing locked out the second row of the grid for the Italian GP today, with Valtteri Bottas qualifying third and Felipe Massa fourth. Valtteri and Felipe were in third and fourth for all three qualifying sessions, and finished only a few tenths adrift of the top two Mercedes.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: "That’s the first step to a great haul of points for the weekend. We are where we should be, but it’s not easy to meet those expectations and so everyone should be very happy. Both car crews and everyone supporting the team have worked very hard to get this result. The advantage the power unit gives is phenomenal around here and we are confident with our race pace as well. Our objective is to outscore those around us in the championship and we have set ourselves a good basis for that."
Valtteri Bottas, 3rd: "To have both cars on the second row is a good starting point for the race. I am really happy with the qualifying lap and the car is set-up for the race so I am confident we can push the Mercedes, it’s just a question of how much can we push them. If we have a great start it could open a lot of opportunities, and the pitstop lap could be critical depending on our strategy. If anything happens with the cars just in front of us, we will be there to collect those points."
Felipe Massa, 4th: "It was a good qualifying for me and for the team. I was missing just that little bit extra to get third. We aren’t too far off the Mercedes and I think everyone should be happy with the result. It’s a long race and we have good long run pace so who knows what will happen. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a good weekend. I am really going to give everything I can to get on that podium, especially as it’s such a great podium."