• Austrian GP - Qualifying

Massa surprised by 'emotional' pole

ESPN Staff
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Felipe Massa admits he did not think out-qualifying Mercedes was a possibility in Austria after claiming his first pole position since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Massa's team-mate Valtteri Bottas topped FP3 on Saturday morning but it seemed Mercedes was holding something back ahead of qualifying, but in the afternoon it became apparent Williams genuinely had the pace to challenge for the front row. Massa left it until his final timed lap to snatch pole from Bottas but says Williams cannot afford to get carried away with a race to come.

"I'm so happy with what's happened to day with us, our team," Massa said. "It was such a great moment. It was a very long time when I had my last pole position, which was Brazil 2008, so it's an incredible moment. For sure we need to concentrate on the race tomorrow but it's a very difficult and important race for us. It's a great moment, the best place to be is here, the first place. It's something I've had the chance to be many times in my career and I am again now.

"After a long time that I couldn't be in this place I hope this is maybe the beginning of some great possibilities again, not just in qualifying but in the race too. The race is tomorrow but I'm so happy, very emotional. Not just for me but I think it is a similar feeling from what I feel and what Williams feel. Williams Martini has had an incredible career in the past and they are back to the top, back to the fight, there's a lot to do but the work is going in that line and I'm so pleased for me and for Williams too."

Bottas locked out the front row for Williams and Massa admits he thought Mercedes had been holding something back in FP3.

"It's pretty clear that our car was good, competitive, and it has shows a really good performance. Yesterday since the beginning both tyres have showed a good performance. We expected Mercedes to have been a little bit heavier [on fuel in FP3], just preparing for qualifying. Maybe not a big gap, because it's a small track, it was a little bit of a surprise but it was a great job from us."

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