Williams have fallen behind of late to that of their arch rivals Force India, and the final qualifying session of the year highlighted that with the team cementing tenth and eleventh on the grid, with Force India up the grid.
With the team effectively needing a win this weekend to take the fourth place back in the Constructors Championship, there were slim pickings from qualifying expect the heartening news that Felipe Massa would qualify in the top ten for his final race in Formula One.
For Massa a mistake on his final run would mean that he would start at the bottom of the order, in tenth and behind rivals Force India, and the McLaren of Fernando Alonso who pipped him to ninth at the end of the hour.
The Brazilian said after qualifying, “It definitely was not a very easy qualifying today, but I was happy with the result. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with the tyres but I just tried my hardest to set a good lap.
“I had a very good time in Q2, which was important.
“I definitely expected a bit more from my lap in Q3, but maybe I didn’t have as much grip in the tyres as Q2. We’re not far from where we expected to be and we will see what we can do compared to the other cars.”
Felipe Massa will start from 10th, with teammate Valtteri Bottas starting in 11th.