Felipe Massa was pleased to finish as the top non-Mercedes driver in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday, edging out the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen for third place on the grid.
Massa posted a best final lap time of 1:27.718 to qualify P3, albeit some eight-tenths down on the all-conquering Mercedes cars on the front row of the grid.
The battle to be ‘best of the race’ was always expected to be a close one between Williams and Ferrari, and come the checkered flag in Q3, Massa managed to edge out Vettel by 0.05 seconds after hooking up his final lap of the session.
“It was a very tricky qualifying, especially when you have four cars fighting with very similar times all of the time,” Massa explained. “If you see the difference in the lap times between me, Sebastian and Kimi and also Valtteri [Bottas], it’s pretty small.
“I’m happy that I did a good lap, that’s the best lap of the day, the last one, which was not so easy with the wind changing – so easy to have front locking in corners that I had not on this lap. Maybe I just prepared everything for the last try and it worked pretty well.
“It will be a big fight tomorrow with Ferrari especially, but I just hope we can do a good job.”
You can watch the Australian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30a ET tomorrow.