Bottas surprised with third in qualifying
Valtteri Bottas says he is surprised with third on the grid for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.
The Finn didn’t expect the circuit to play to the strengths of the Mercedes-powered Williams FW36, but he feels the upgrades are working well and is optimistic that the team can secure a good result in the race.
“I think maybe a little bit of a surprise,” he said in the post-qualifying press conference. “We knew that Red Bull are going to be really quick here and also Ferrari and obviously Mercedes like always.
“The nature of the track in theory is not the best for us, but we’ve been able to work well as a team to bring some updates, which really worked well.
“Obviously we’re still missing some grip compared to some other cars but today was, I think, a really good day from us. Third and sixth, we have a good chance also here to get some really good points.”
He is expecting a close fight to be best of the rest with Red Bull Racing. “I think, y’know, if nothing special is going to happen, first is really difficult,” Bottas said.
“Still Mercedes is ahead – but you never know. We need to aim for that, always, and aiming for that we can get good results. Obviously here, tomorrow, it’s going to be a really close fight with Red Bull and us. So we need to see how the pace is. If it’s enough, keeping them behind, at least one of them, that would be good.”
His team-mate Felipe Massa will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from sixth place, after a difficult session for the Brazilian.
“It was a very tough qualifying, especially with the weather,” he admitted. “The biggest problem I had was traffic in Q3, I had to overtake maybe five cars on that lap so I couldn’t put a time together.
“It was a shame, but we’ll try to do the best we can tomorrow in the race.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.