Valtteri Bottas says he is encouraged by the improvements made by Williams ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix after qualifying just two tenths adrift of Ferrari in Barcelona.

The closest Williams have been to their key rivals since the opening round in Australia, Bottas was impressed to find himself within range of Sebastian Vettel at the end of qualifying, the Finn taking full advantage of Kimi Raikkonen's disappointing day to secure fourth on the grid.

His best starting position of the season, though Bottas is uncertain as to whether he can take the fight to Vettel for a podium in the race, he is confident his starting position will certainly help him around the Circuit de Catalunya.

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It seems like we are [closer to Ferrari]," he said. "The last time we were as close was Melbourne maybe. For sure, we haven't fallen back and we are fairly consistent. There are small bits that we have brought here but it seems like no-one else has done much more and that is good to see, plus we know there is more to come in the next few races.

"Of course we try [to beat Seb]. As a team we definitely want every position possible and personally tomorrow I will try and take very opportunity. If you can gain positions here it is maybe easier to keep than in Bahrain as it is more difficult to overtake here."

Bottas' team-mate Felipe Massa will start down in ninth place after making a mistake on his fastest lap.