valtteri bottas monaco qualifying 2021

Bottas: I left everything out there for the last one

valtteri bottas monaco qualifying 2021

Valtteri Bottas was one of several drivers denied a final shot at pole position during qualifying for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver forced to abort his final effort when Charles Leclerc’s shunt late in the session triggered red flags.

Mercedes have struggled to find the form that saw them dominate the race in 2019, on Saturday, Bottas’ best lap time of  1:10.601s was good for third on the timesheets, albeit a quarter second shy of Leclerc’s pole-winning effort.

But perhaps more importantly, a half-second faster than his teammate Lewis Hamilton in the sister car who was only good for seventh on the day.

Nevertheless, Bottas felt he had a crack at top spot until the Reds turned it red, he told Sky F1 afterwards: “It was disappointing not to get my last run in. That’s how it is sometimes.

“I left everything out there for the last one. The first run wasn’t enough for pole but I was feeling good after the second run. I’m gutted.

“I think we have made good progress with the car throughout the weekend, definitely happier with it throughout qualifying.”

Later, he added in the Mercedes team report: “On Thursday and even in practice this morning, I didn’t have the greatest feeling in the car – we were still struggling with the tyre warm-up and mechanically, the car just isn’t made for tracks like this.

“I think we maximised everything set-up wise for Quali, we made some changes and I felt comfortable. As qualifying progressed, I saw that we had a chance for pole position so it’s a shame I never got to finish the last run – I guess we’ll never find out if it was enough but it was a good lap up until the red flag, I was a tenth or two up.

“It is great to see many teams out there competing at the front, it’s exciting and we are all pushing so much on the track, trying to make every small gain we can. I am sure tomorrow will be a tight battle.

“We’ll try everything we can tomorrow. It’s Monaco, anything can happen,” added the Finn who finished third at the 2019 race at the Principality.