Valtteri Bottas admitted he was disappointed to qualify only fourth for the British Grand Prix, with the Finn losing time in the final two corners to deny him at least a place on the front row and maybe even pole position.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver was more than three-tenths of a second down on team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the final results, but a mistake at turn sixteen cost him the time that saw him not only qualify behind the Briton, but also the Scuderia Ferrari pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen.
“I’m disappointed – our pace was good today and it was all going well for me, but I lost it in the last two corners,” said Bottas. “I went a bit too deep into Turn 16, lost a few tenths there and dropped to fourth.
“Without that mistake I think I would have been fighting for pole today.”
Turning his attention to race day, Bottas admits it will be difficult, but not impossible, to pass either of the Ferrari’s but he will be looking to take any opportunity that presents itself to him as he bids to erase the bad memories of last weekend at the Red Bull Ring, where both Mercedes drivers retired.
“The Ferraris looked strong yesterday already and it was very close today between us and them, so I expect a similarly close fight tomorrow,” said the Finn. “It’s not going to be easy to pass them tomorrow, but we’ve seen overtaking on this track before, so there’s still opportunity for more.
“We saw blistering last week in Austria, so keeping the tyres in good condition is going to be the key tomorrow given the high temperatures. It is going to be a long and hot race, a tough battle, but I’m looking forward to it.”