Felipe Massa says he is impressed with Williams' showing during the Spanish Grand Prix so far, despite saying he team didn't bring many new parts to Barcelona.

The first European event of the season is often used as a chance to introduce new upgrades, but Williams opted for a more modest approach than most with minor tweaks to its set-up, particularly compared with Ferrari, which has brought a reported 16 new parts for its car.

However, with Valtteri Bottas qualifying in fourth position, just two tenths behind Sebastian Vettel, it is Williams that has shown a marked improvement between events, much to his team-mate Massa's pleasure.

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"It is true that we are the closest qualifying after Australia and the other teams bring a lot of new parts," he said. "We didn't bring a lot of new parts to be honest, but it is interesting to understand that we are there in the fight, so we need to see how the long run is [in the race], especially compared to Ferrari because normally they are quite strong.

"I still believe we can do a good race so we need to keep improving and bringing new parts as soon as we can, because we know we can make a fact at the end of the championship."

Massa starts down in ninth position for the Spanish Grand Prix after running off at turn three on his single flying lap during third and final qualifying.

"I just had one set for Q3 and the wind started to pick up, so I got to corner three and the wind pushed me a little wide and I didn't want to back off, but when I touched the green part on the exit, it pushed completely off the track and I lost maybe eight tenths.

"Then I got to corner four with dirty tyres, I just had a problem on the whole lap. Unfortunately because qualifying was going very well and we were going to start with both cars in the top five."