Valtteri Bottas qualified seventh and Felipe Massa 18th for the Spanish Grand Prix. Both drivers had one planned run in Q1, with Valtteri posting a time of 1:24.251 to comfortably progress through into Q2, and go on to compete in the top ten shootout. Massa didn’t get a clean lap in Q1, with some traffic at the start of his timed lap. The team reacted in the closing minutes, but unfortunately there wasn’t sufficient time left to enable Massa to start another timed lap.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “Overall it’s a disappointing qualifying session. Our fastest car is in seventh position which is where we predicted we would get to, but it’s not enough. Valtteri did everything that he could with the car to get to that position, and we’re quite close to the Ferraris, which is positive. Felipe didn’t get his lap right and we didn’t have enough time to do another run, so we need to look at what’s gone wrong on his lap, because we had eight tenths of a margin to get through into Q2, and then we have to look at what we could have done better operationally as well.
“We’ll dissect everything, be open and honest, and do better. What we have to concentrate on now is the race today. Valtteri’s starting from a good position, and hopefully he can get some good points and get amongst the cars in front. With Felipe we need to be a little clever with the strategy, and think about what we can do in order to get into the back end of the points with him.”
Valtteri Bottas: “I was hoping for a bit better result, but it was a good lap so I am pleased with how we did in Q3. It’s a shame about Felipe. Today, we need to set the bar high and aim to be in the top five in the race. It’s possible with a good start and our strategy, so we’ll try to make up as many places as we can.”
Felipe Massa: “I’m so disappointed about what happened. I had traffic on my first run so I couldn’t do a clean lap. We didn’t have time to go out on another set of tyres. Traffic or problems on the lap can happen, but we still need to ensure we can react accordingly. It’s a long race today though, so we still need to aim to challenge for points.”