Formula 1

Bottas Happy with Third on the Grid Despite Grip Issues on Final Q3 Run

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Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Circuit of the Americas
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas was disappointed to qualify only fourth for the United States Grand Prix after failing to find as much time on his final run as the three drivers ahead of him during the final segment of Qualifying on Saturday.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver will move up to third on the grid when Sebastian Vettel takes his grid penalty, but he ended 0.379 seconds behind his pole-sitting team-mate Lewis Hamilton after failing to get his Ultrasoft Pirelli tyres to the right temperature for his final run.

“It was a pretty straightforward qualifying session all the way until the second run in Q3,” said Bottas.  “Everyone else improved much more on their second run, but I could not find more grip.

“You want the tyre pressures and temperatures to be in the optimum window for those qualifying laps. The first run in Q3 felt a little better, so we will have to look at the data and see if we managed to get the tyres into their optimum window for the second run as well.”

Bottas will be one of four drivers to start on the Supersoft tyre on Sunday along with Hamilton, Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, but with Kimi Räikkönen on the front row on the Ultrasoft, the Mercedes driver says the start should be an interesting one.

“P3 is not a bad position to start from though and my main focus will be to get past Kimi because we want to get the maximum number of points for the team,” said the Finn.  “Both Lewis and I will be on the SuperSoft and Kimi between us will be on the Ultras, so that should be interesting for the start.

“I think every team will go into Sunday with a number of question marks since we couldn’t do any proper long runs, so we have only limited information on the tyres. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow to find out what’s going to happen.”

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