Valtteri Bottas: “I didn’t have the pace to fight for the pole”


Valtteri Bottas will start third in Belgium - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas was confused to the reasons why he could not match the single lap pace of Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, but feels his pace on Sunday should be stronger.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver ended up more than half a second down on Hamilton in the final segment of qualifying, which also saw him fall in behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, and said that the pace was just not there to challenge for pole.

Despite this, he has been enjoying driving 2017 machinery around Spa-Francorchamps, and he feels his race pace should be stronger on Sunday, with the team aiming for a one-two finish.

“First of all, congratulations to Lewis for his 68 poles, that’s a mega achievement,” said Bottas. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pace to fight for the pole today.

“I’m not sure about the reasons; I’m slightly confused as to why I haven’t been able to get closer. We will need to look for a few more answers in the data. The balance in the car felt good, but I was lacking grip, so I was particularly struggling in the high-speed corners of sector two.

“I felt a lot more comfortable in the car with high fuel, so that’s good for tomorrow. Driving the 2017 car around Spa is mega – it’s so quick, I’ve never experienced anything like it. We are both starting in the top three, so as a team we will still try to achieve our target and that is a 1-2.”