Valtteri Bottas: “I think we were unlucky today”

Valtteri Bottas - Credit: Steven Tee / Williams

Valtteri Bottas felt missing out on running during final practice compromised him in qualifying at the Baku Street Circuit after qualifying eighth for Sunday’s European Grand Prix.

The Williams Martini Racing driver was helpless as he ran over a drain cover in the pit lane that damaged both the bodywork and the floor of his FW38, meaning the team had the task of repairing his car ahead of qualifying rather than seeing the driver turn some laps.

Despite being unhappy with his laps in both of the opening phases of qualifying, Bottas was able to get through into the top ten shoot-out, but felt he could have found more time had he practiced in the morning.

“I think we were unlucky today,” revealed Bottas. “Missing FP3 definitely made qualifying more difficult. It’s hard to say how much it affected us, but I don’t think our pace was too bad.

“I didn’t put a perfect lap together in Q1 or Q2, so I think to get through how we did shows that we had good pace. Q3 was tough because I was heavily affected by traffic on both of my runs and I think there was definitely about half a second to be found in the car.

“For tomorrow, we have a good race pace so I’m sure we can have a good day.”