British Grand Prix: Williams "pleasantly surprised" by Ferrari gap

Williams performance chief Rob Smedley said he was surprised by how much Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas outperformed Ferrari in British Grand Prix qualifying

British Grand Prix: Williams "pleasantly surprised" by Ferrari gap

Massa was third quickest, with Bottas fourth, as the Brazilian finished 0.837s seconds behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton but three tenths ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in fifth.

"I said pre-weekend that this is a circuit that would suit our car with all the high-speed sections," said Smedley.

"So we knew if we did all the numbers and all the modelling, it looked like we would have a reasonable chance against Ferrari.

"I'm pleasantly surprised about the size of the gap. They didn't seem to pick up anything through qualifying.

"They got that first qualifying run in and then were pretty much stable from there on in.

"Whether or not they used all the power unit energy or availability in first qualifying I don't know.

"But we have a plan for going through qualifying and for making sure we were putting ourselves in the best position for Q3 and we worked through that."

Bottas and Massa admitted there was plenty of work to do after Friday practice, with getting the tyre temperatures into the range on one lap a particular problem.

"I think it is fair to say we weren't stunning, ever by our standards on a Friday," added Smedley.

"We never top timesheets on Friday as it is all about doing our homework correctly and making sure we get through the test programme.

"But last night, I sat down with the guys to try and ascertain how much we are looking for and the areas we are actually looking to improve.

"We knew we weren't particularly strong in managing the tyres and the cars weren't comfortable for the guys to drive either.

"We went through things corner-by-corner and it was clear we had a huge amount potential left on table and the single lap time didn't look very good.

"So we went about attacking both areas - the tyre management and putting the corners together and I think you've seen today that we got both those things spot on."

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