Valtteri Bottas believes Williams could be able to challenge Mercedes for pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Mercedes has only failed to qualify on pole position once so far this season, when Williams locked out the front row in Austria. With Williams often well off the pace on a Friday before closing the gap in qualifying, Bottas and Felipe Massa were fifth and sixth respectively on soft tyres in FP2.

Having qualified in the top three at six of the last eight races, asked if Brazil could be another opportunity to challenge Mercedes in qualifying, Bottas replied: "Yeah it could be.

"I still think they have quite a big edge on everyone but for us for Friday pace if we can compare to other weekends it's not looking too bad, at least for one lap pace."

And Bottas said there were no unexpected surprises regarding how competitive the Williams car was on Friday at Interlagos.

"It's difficult to say from Friday but we expected coming here that it wouldn't be a bad circuit for us, for sure not the best but the initial feeling was not bad. We still have work to do with the car balance.

"It's all pretty OK. I even missed the first session and was really getting in to a good rhythm today in FP2. I still think there's more to come from the set-up of the car and from me but let's see with the weather. I think that's going to be the key; just managing the weather conditions.

"For Friday it was not that bad, it went OK. But we never know what's going to happen with the weather. Tomorrow and Sunday are the days which in the end count."

Bottas was slightly critical of the new track surface in Brazil, however, saying it is not as smooth as he expected it to be.

"In the dry it was quite grippy, it was cleaning up. The only negative is that it was quite bumpy still; probably even more bumpy than before."



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