Valtteri Bottas spoke of his disappointment in failing to reach pole position or the front row of the grid in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Bottas will start third behind polesitter and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel. The Finn believed that his early weekend pace put him in good stead to repeat his pole position from last year, but found himself around two-tenths away from Hamilton.
“With the pace I had all weekend it felt like I would fight for pole position,” said Bottas. “So to end up P3 with a Ferrari between Lewis and me is a bit disappointing.
“I think pole was up for grabs today.”
The Mercedes driver said that he made a slight error in Turn 12 and, due to the timing of his final run, did not reap the benefits of a slipstream up the hill and on the start/finish straight costing him more ground to Hamilton and Vettel.
“I was more than two tenths up in the second run of [Qualifying 3], but I lost a bit of time in Turn 12,” Bottas explained.
“I was the first car going up the back straight, so I had no tow and just kept losing time going up the hill towards the finish line.”
Despite this, Bottas paid his compliments to Hamilton on achieving his eighty-second pole position and Mercedes’ one-hundredth as a constructor in Formula 1. Additionally, Bottas noted that both he and Hamilton hold an advantage off the grid and start on the super-soft tyres, while both Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen set their fastest Qualifying 2 times on the soft compound.
“But it was an overall strong qualifying for us as a team and another great pole for Lewis,” he continued.
“We will both start on a softer tyre than Vettel, so that could make the start tomorrow quite interesting. Let’s wait and see what the race holds for us.”