Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest in qualifying for the British Grand Prix, he got it wrong very early on during his final flying lap in Q3 and thus paid the price, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position with a margin that has stumped the Finn.
Bottas spoke to reporters after finishing half a second off the pole winning pace, “Of course I’m disappointed at being fourth and, of course, with the unfortunate gearbox penalty I’ll have to start ninth. That’s far from ideal and the gap to the front was way, way too big.”
“I’m disappointed because I was in good form [on Friday]. We definitively had the fastest car [in qualifying] and I was targeting nothing less that fighting for pole position.”
“For sure Lewis was really on it, he had a great lap, but I know myself for a fact that the difference should have never been that big. We did have a bit of a difference on the approach to the out laps, so I really think he managed to get the tyres to work, in these cooler conditions, better than me.”
“My main problem in qualifying was just overall grip, not the balance of the car, I just couldn’t feel the grip, it was very easy to make slides and stuff like that.”
“I still need to understand more why there was such a big difference with the grip and the lap time, but for sure one thing that didn’t help me was that I did two runs with soft tyres in Q2 while Lewis did those two runs with the super-softs, so he kind of learned how that tyre was behaving in those conditions and maybe could extract more for that reasons.”
“I thought the gap between the soft and the super-soft, in these conditions, was bigger than what we had seen yesterday, which was a bit surprising for me. So that’s it but, for sure, well done to Lewis who will be starting from pole. That’s good but as we’ve seen many times in the past is the Sunday that counts.”
“I was really up for it when we started to speak about starting the race on the soft tyre, as that offered different strategic possibilities in this race. We calculated there’s quite a few different strategies you can make work.”
“And it seems like almost all the cars are more or less in a similar approach; I’m in a different approach and given the amount of cars that are slower in race pace that start ahead of me, it’s definitively the right choice for us. We’ll find out [in the race] if that’s so,” added Bottas who will start the race at Silverstone from ninth on the grid due to a penalty for a gearbox change.