Valtteri Bottas qualified sixth and Felipe Massa ninth for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The changeable wet conditions were not ideal for the FW36 and traffic on their out laps in Q3 hindered the driver’s ability to get the full performance from the car.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: These sort of variable wet conditions are always very tricky and can catch people out. We played it sensibly and managed to get both cars through into the top 10 which is positive and we need to be satisfied with that, with Valtteri only three tenths adrift of third position. We saw on Friday that we have strong long run pace in dry conditions and we expect a largely dry race, so we are confident that both drivers can make up places tomorrow and secure some good points.
Valtteri Bottas: The final practice where I finished P1 showed that we have a very strong car in the dry, but wet conditions allow other cars to move closer to us and unfortunately we didn’t qualify as high today as we can. I lost some tyre temperature in my warm up lap because of traffic which is crucial for us and this made my final run trickier than the ones before, and throughout qualifying we were losing time in the second sector. Our wet pace has improved a lot though since the beginning of the season and P6 is still a good grid slot. We can still do a lot tomorrow and if it is a dry race then we stand a good chance of challenging Ferrari and Red Bull.
Felipe Massa: The rain was very tricky today and prevented us from showing our true pace. Our pace looked solid in Q1 and Q2, but I had traffic in Q3 on my warm up lap and because of that I was not able to warm my tyres up properly which stopped me getting the full performance out of the car on my flying lap. Even though the track was drying and getting quicker in Q3, I was slower than my Q2 time so that shows that I could have gone faster if my lap had come together. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully we can show the pace we have and move up the field.
Track Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Weather Mild and Wet
Lap Length 7.004kms/ 4.352 miles Temperature Air: 10-11°C Track: 17-22°C
Pos. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1. N. Rosberg Mercedes 2:07.130 2:06.723 2:05.591
2. L. Hamilton Mercedes 2:07.280 2:06.609 2:05.819
3. S. Vettel Red Bull Racing 2:10.105 2:08.868 2:07.717
6. V. Bottas WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING 2:09.250 2:08.451 2:08.049
9. F. Massa WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING 2:08.403 2:08.833 2:09.178