Valtteri Bottas was not able to match the pace of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team team-mate Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday, with the Finn ending up sixth fastest, 2.279 seconds off the pace!
Bottas at least was able to out-qualify both of the Scuderia Ferrari drivers at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, and coupled with the grid penalties for both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, will start the race on Sunday from fourth on the grid.
Starting this weekend third in the championship, Bottas admitted he just could not get the full wet tyre to work in the tricky conditions, but with the race set to be dry, he is hopeful of moving forward on Sunday.
“Today was a tough day,” admitted Bottas. “In the end, I just couldn’t get the Wet tyre to work. We stopped for a new set, tried to go for one more lap, but I just didn’t find any grip.
“Initially, in some parts of the qualifying we got everything working well, but it was really on a knife edge with the temperatures of the tyres. With more rain, I could not get the tyres hot enough.
“However, with the grid penalties for the Red Bulls, I’ll be starting fourth, which is not too bad. And it is for sure good to be ahead of the Ferraris with both cars. We have a long race ahead of us tomorrow; luckily it’s supposed to be dry.”