(Williams Martini Racing Team)
The Williams Martini Racing duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa endured a difficult qualifying session for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix as Bottas will start the race from 13th on the grid while Felipe Massa was left disappointed having made it into Q2 the Brazilian was hit by the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson going into Turn 5 and as a result he was unable to take part in the second session and will start the race 16th on the grid.
For causing the accident, Ericsson will start the race from the pit-lane as he was deemed to have caused the accident. Following qualifying, Bottas, who is aiming to continue his points scoring run commented:
'As a team this wasn't the optimum result. The issue we had was the getting heat into the front tyres. The car felt ok, but I didn't have the grip that I wanted. We have some work to do to try and get this sorted for tomorrow. I am still optimistic of some points though as they are only a few places away and anything can happen in Monaco. '
Felipe Massa was happy with how the car the felt in qualifying and is hoping to score his first points since the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Brazilian is currently in 12th place in Drivers championship 22 points behind team mate Valtteri Bottas. Massa stated:
' I did everything I could in the first session but at the end Ericsson hit me and that ruined my qualifying. I was hopeful for a good position today as the car actually felt ok; it would have been a fight to get into the top ten, not easy, but possible. I am disappointed and tomorrow is going to be a challenge but with this car points are still possible.'
The Williams Martini Racing Team's Head of vehicle performance, Rob Smedley felt that the Grove based outfit had a tough day saying:
'Today hasn’t been the easiest of days as is clear from our qualifying positions. Qualifying is important here however there are 78 laps tomorrow meaning we still have time to recuperate and score some points. The midfield was very tight and sadly due to the nature of the circuit we were towards the back of it rather than in our usual position at the front of it. There were just a few tenths in it from where we should be so we need to analyse everything to ensure we understand it more for tomorrow. Felipe had an unlucky session with the incident with Ericsson which is unfortunate as he was looking good up to that point and we didn’t quite have the pace in Valtteri’s car. There is a little bit of work to do to get into the points tomorrow but it is ultimately still very possible.'
The Monaco Grand Prix may be the shortest circuit in terms of length, however it is 78 laps of extremely intensive concentration as the smallest mistake will end your race so absolutely anything can and usually does happen from safety cars to red flags. The Williams team have a fantastic group working for them and there will be absolutely no doubt that both Bottas and Massa will be able to make their way through the field during the race.
©Ben Johnston 2014