Felipe Massa was left to wonder what might have been after putting his Williams onto the inside of row three of the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Both Massa and team-mate Valtteri Bottas had been in the thick of the fight to be 'best of the rest' behind the two Mercedes drivers but, when it came to qualifying, slipped behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel to live up fifth and fourth respectively.

While Vettel admitted that he had been fortunate to put together a lap good enough to separate Mercedes and Williams, Massa was left to rue a brake problem that he felt cost him the vital fractions of a second that prevented him from being higher up the order.

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"Maybe, if I had been a few thousandths of a second quicker, I could have been third," he said, eyeing the 0.03secs gap to Vettel, "I am really a bit disappointed because we have been on the pace for the whole weekend, in most of the sessions. We had the car to start on third and, unfortunately, missed by very, very little.

"Everything was related to the brakes because I had very good temperature in the brakes until the first run in Q2 but then, on the last three runs, the front brake on the left wheel was too cold, so I was always locking the wheel in corner one and losing time. We need to understand why [this happened] - it is clear on the data that it was a little too cold on the front left and I don't know if it was just that but, for sure, it didn't help."

Despite his frustration, however, Massa remained confident that both Williams cars could take advantage of their straight-line speed advantage - the Brazilian was fastest through every speed trap during qualifying - on raceday.

"When you fight for P5, P6 in practice and see yourself in P5 [in qualifying], you are happy; but when you fight for P3 in many sessions, and then you lose some opportunities, you are never very happy," he remarked, "But I cannot forget that the pace is good and this can be important for tomorrow.

"After what we did in every session, it would have been nice to be in front of both [Red Bull] cars, but I'm confident that the car can be good and convinced we can have a good race. We don't know how [the temperature] is going to be tomorrow, and [today] is very hot compared to Friday, but we did a long run on Friday that was very consistent. With these temperatures, I think we may be moving towards two stops and we need to be ready to do the right strategy, because you need to do two in the rights laps otherwise you'll lose position. This is a track where it is possible to overtake and it would be great to have the opportunity to gain positions..."