Third ‘not ideal’ for Bottas on first Mercedes Qualifying effort

Valtteri Bottas felt he should have been on the front row in Australia - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas was a little disappointed to miss out on a front row grid slot on his first appearance for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, with the Finn set to start third on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

Bottas missed out on the front row by 0.025 seconds to Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, but he ended up 0.293 seconds behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who took pole position for the season opener at Albert Park.

Despite the disappointment of starting third, Bottas had high praise for his team, with the former Williams Martini Racing driver proud of those who built him such a strong car that he could attack with straight from the word go.

“Third position is not ideal,” admitted Bottas. “I couldn’t quite get a perfect lap in, so I’m not quite satisfied with the result. But what I’m really proud about is the team of people who built this car.

“I only saw a very small part of the preparation for this new era of Formula One – but it’s really nice to see that all of the work has paid off. Tomorrow is the day that matters and my race starts have been quite strong, so hopefully we can keep that going.”