Updated: Sunday, 22 June 2014 02:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Massa back on pole, hopes Williams have turned corner

Felipe Massa relished being back in pole position again after six years as a resurgent Williams team dominated qualification for the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday. 


Massa back on pole, hopes Williams have turned corner

Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa drives in the qualifying session of the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on June 21, 2014 - by Joe Klamar

The 33-year-old Brazilian shocked the crowd by setting the fastest qualifying time at the Red Bull Ring, ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with his best-ever result. 

This was the first time all season that Mercedes failed to secure first place on the starting grid and came after Williams have struggled in recent seasons.  

Massa hoped, however, that Saturday's result could be the start of renewed success for both himself and the team, which has won just one Grand Prix since 2004.  

"I'm so happy with what's happened today with us and our team. It was such a great moment," the Brazilian said.

"The best place to be is here in first place. It's something that I got the chance to be many times in all my career and I am again now. 

"For a long time I couldn't be in this place and I hope this is the beginning of maybe some great possibilities to be here again, not just in qualifying but also in the race."

Massa last started in pole position in 2008 in Brazil, when he was still competing for Ferrari, and his last wins go back to that same season. 

"Being the quickest on the track against everybody, it's always the best feeling a driver can have," he said ahead of the first Austrian Grand Prix in 11 years.

"A driver always works and fights to achieve this." 

Already fast in Canada two weeks ago, Massa saw his hopes of winning shattered due to lost time in the pit and a horrific crash with Force India's Sergio Perez.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo eventually took the win. 

Still, the Brazilian was hopeful Williams could get back to winning ways, even as he warned of the Mercedes threat, given the German team's dominant form this season. 

"I hope during the championship that we can close or maybe even pass (them)," he said.

"Williams Martini had an incredible career in the past and they are back to the top, they are back to the fight," he added defiantly. 

Bottas, meanwhile, felt vindicated by his team's good result on Saturday. 

"We've made some big, big steps from last year... we can see that all the hard work is really starting to pay off," he said.

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