Valtteri Bottas was 0.13 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton and finished in second place. However, the Finn will start tomorrow’s race from pole position, as his teammate is moved back ten places. In conversation with Motorsport.com, the Finn looks back on qualifying.
For the Mercedes team, qualifying went ‘ideally’, Bottas says at the press conference. Due to the grid penalties of his teammate, the nine-time race winner can still start from first place. There he will have to take into account Max Verstappen, who will try everything to get more points in the battle for the world championship.
Bottas gave everything
When asked whether he deliberately held back, so that Hamilton can start from eleventh place tomorrow, Bottas is clear: “I was not asked to slow down.” The Briton’s teammate was about 0.005 seconds faster than the seven-time world champion for the entire lap. It wasn’t until the last sector that Hamilton hit back: “In the last sector I started to struggle with my tires. So in turns 12 and 14 I had understeer.” Bottas continues: “I felt I was losing time, probably I had asked too much from my tires in the lap before. So believe me, I really went for it!”
Satisfied with the job
The Finn is also happy with the set-up of his car: “Really enjoyed qualifying. There was still quite a lot of grip and from the start of the weekend we were good with the set-up of the car”, concludes Bottas off. Hamilton’s teammate will guard against a mistake at the start so as not to be outwitted by Verstappen.