Williams suffered mixed fortunes in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, as Valtteri Bottas starred with third place on the grid but Felipe Massa suffered a disastrous Q2 and will start 15th.
Massa blamed traffic, mistakes and rear-tyre wear for his failure to nail a quick laptime, while Bottas sailed through Q2 and was quickest non-Mercedes in Q3.
"It was not just a mistake, it was a problem in traffic,” claimed Massa. “I had two laps stuck in traffic, so I lost time, then I had a mistake [on his third lap] and then on my last lap the rear tyres were gone and I couldn't get the laptime. A really frustrating qualifying.
“We had everything to start at the front, and it's a shame it happens like that. We have a good car. Hope with the strategy we can try something different and it can work."
Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley, a longtime ally of Massa’s, voiced his dismay with the Brazilian's result.
“Huge disappointment really, the car was really good around here,” said Smedley. “We got it hooked up in qualifying trim.
"We got a bit out of sync. He was doing four laps: the first lap was warming the tyres, second he made a bit of a mistake, the third he got traffic, and the fourth – the lap he had to do it on – he went wide at Turn 8 because the tyres were pretty much done."