Valtteri Bottas has urged Williams to improve the performance of the FW37 in wet conditions after struggling for grip in today’s qualifying session at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Williams were expected to fight for the best-of-the-rest tag alongside Ferrari, behind the seemingly unassailable Mercedes. Practice timings did little to deter from this assumption with Massa fifth and Bottas sixth quickest in FP3 earlier today.
However, when race hit the track in the first part of Q2, Williams started moving down the pecking order, eventually qualifying in seventh(Massa) and ninth(Bottas).
“I am a little disappointed with how the day turned out,’’ said Bottas. “I felt like I did a good lap so was a little surprised to be in P9. I wanted to be the last car across the line and so was pleased to be, we just have some work to do on the wet weather performance.”
“Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow, but it will also be hot and so nothing will be easy, especially from ninth.”
Teammate Felipe Massa said that Williams would have finished in the qualifying in the dry and that the team is yet to solve the wet weather issues that affected their last year’s campaign.
“It wasn’t the easiest day today, I think in the dry we can both be in the top five. We still have some of the issues in the wet that we had last season, hopefully we can now look to solve a few of those. Tomorrow looks like it will be dry though, so we hope for a better race,” Massa was quoted after qualifying.
Meanwhile, Williams head of vehicle aerodynamics Rob Smedley was looking forward to making key strategic decisions to move up the order in tomorrow’s race.
“Changeable conditions made it a tough session,’’ Smedley lamented after Williams’ poor showing in qualifying. “We were on the right tyre at the right time and attempted to be the last car across the line knowing the track was improving every lap.We need to consider why our performance wasn’t there in the wet conditions but we have a very good car in race trim as we saw on Friday.’’
“We have a lot to do tomorrow but the temperature is looking like it will be very hot during the race so we must make the right strategic decisions,’’ he added.