Valtteri Bottas: “I lost the race in qualifying”

by Craig Venn

Valtteri Bottas admits he lost too much time in the opening stages of the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix to challenge for a seventh podium of the year.

Bottas started the race from sixth after what he called a “messy” qualifying and lost a further position to Nico Hülkenberg at the start of the race. The Finn remained stuck behind the both Renaults and the Red Bull Racing car of Pierre Gasly until their pit-stops were complete on lap fifteen, by which time Bottas had lost touch with the leaders.

“I made a costly mistake in qualifying yesterday and that made today very difficult,” said Bottas.

“I struggled to get through the Red Bull and the Renaults in the beginning; whenever I closed in on the cars in front, the engine and the brakes were close to their temperature limits, so I had to do a lot of lift and coast which made it tricky to attack.

“By the time I had finally passed them, I had lost too much time to fight for a podium place.”

Bottas was able to post the fastest lap of the race owing to a ‘free’ pit-stop late in the race, but the additional point offered scant consolation as he now sits twenty-nine points behind his team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.

“The pace of the car was good once I was in free air, so we decided to do an additional pit stop at the end and fight for the quickest lap on fresh tyres,” said Bottas. “It’s nice to get the extra point for fastest lap, but ultimately I lost the race in qualifying yesterday.

“I think we can expect another tough battle in France; it’s a circuit with long straights so Ferrari should be quick again, but I’m looking forward to the fight.”

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