Valtteri Bottas’ hopes of ending his difficult start to the 2016 Formula 1 season were given a boost after he qualified third for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday in Sochi.
Bottas scored just seven points in the opening three races of the year, but said earlier this week that he was confident that an upturn in fortunes was not far away.
Williams brought a number of new parts to Sochi for the race in a bid to get back in front of Red Bull in the pecking order, and they appear to have the desired effect in qualifying on Saturday.
Bottas qualified third with teammate Felipe Massa finishing fifth, but both will gain a place on the grid by virtue of Sebastian Vettel’s grid penalty.
“Very good qualifying, really pleased how it all went,” Bottas said.
“This weekend has been very positive. We have some new bits on the car and the car has been feeling better. It’s also a good track for us.
“I’m glad we could maximise the qualifying today. Pleased with that, but it’s tomorrow what counts.
“So far my Sundays haven’t been so great, but I’m sure tomorrow we have a chance to have a good one.”
The Russian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7am ET on Sunday.