Valtteri Bottas doesn't feel pole position was in reach for him at Interlagos despite getting so close to Mercedes.

After the first runs in Q3, less than 0.15s covered both Mercedes and Williams cars as a real battle for pole emerged. However, both Bottas and team-mate Felipe Massa aborted their second runs, and Bottas said he didn't feel he could have done much better having ended the session in fourth place.

"I think we did a good job as a team," Bottas said. "It was a nice and clean qualifying from us, we did a good job with all the timings and adjusting all the car balance and everything so I think we pretty much maximised the qualifying today and Mercedes was just too quick. With my lap there is hundredths here and there but not that much that we would have been in front of Mercedes."

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"Q3 run two, Turn 1, Turn 4 and Turn 8 I just had a bit of a lock-up and always went a bit wide and by the time I got to Turn 9 I saw that the time delta was so much back to my best lap it was better to abort it. So I just didn't quite have the front grip, I was trying to get a bit more out of the car but I think there was not much more in it."

When it was put to Bottas that pole could have been possible without the problems on his second run, he insisted Williams had got the maximum out of the car but can be optimistic for the race.

"I doubt it a bit because I don't know how good their laps were but I think we did a good job overall. In sector two they still had some more grip so they are gaining more there. I think from Friday to now the track improved so much. The new tarmac being so grippy I think really helps us here because we struggled quite a bit on Friday in sector two just with the grip but now the track has really improved a lot.

"The car is just getting better and better with the grip mechanically from the tarmac. It's still going to be a question mark for tomorrow about how the pace or the tyre wear is going to be but definitely I am less worried now than I was on Friday because the tyre drop off was really big on Friday."