Valtteri Bottas says starting sixth for the Belgian Grand Prix is "not a disaster" for Williams but admits the team missed out on a better grid slot due to the weather.

Having topped the timesheets after a dry end to FP3, Bottas was only able to qualify sixth as wet weather ensured all running throughout qualifying took part on intermediate or full wet tyres. While he says the car had the potential to start higher up, Bottas said it was still encouraging to see the improvement Williams has made in the wet.

"Overall we would have been more competitive in the dry but still we've made a few steps in the wet with the car," Bottas said. "I was hoping in Q3 to get in to the top five, that was the goal but I think where we missed a bit was we didn't really get a clean out lap with the new set of tyres in Q3 and lost a bit of tyre temperature which the whole qualifying was pretty critical for us.

Related Articles

"That lost a bit of grip and lost a bit of time. It's not a disaster; tomorrow is a long race and even if it's dry we know that from this position we can have a good one.

"We have a completely dry set-up so we really hope it's dry tomorrow!"

However, Bottas said he wasn't convinced he could have beaten the two Mercedes in dry conditions despite being fastest in final practice.

"We don't know how much pace Mercedes had left because in the wet qualifying they were really, really quick so that's pretty difficult to say. For sure we couldn't have a go and have the car in the top three."

Looking ahead to the race, Bottas said it would be crucial to try and jump Fernando Alonso and the two Red Bulls ahead of him in the opening laps.

"I think it would be good to get a Ferrari and the Red Bulls as quickly as possible because we know they are quick in the corners. If we can just get in front of them as quickly as it is possible then we can hopefully keep them behind and have a clean run."