After a great start of the weekend, where the Bottas was the fastest on track during the FP2 session, the Finn experienced what he defined “a lack of pace“, during today’s qualifying.
Indeed Bottas declared he did not felt very comfortable in the car today compared to Friday’s sessions. While his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, managed to gain pole position for tomorrow race, he couldn’t find the same speed he seemed to have on Friday and finished over 0.6s off his teammate in Q3, losing out to Verstappen as well.
The Mercedes driver explained: “Yesterday I felt very confident with my car, and very strong. I don’t know what happened overnight. It looks like all the pace is gone.”
The Finn admitted that track conditions were a bit different yesterday and maybe that’s the reason of these changes: “In FP3 I could feel the wind was different compared to yesterday. Also I had to push a lot, although I was the fastest I knew I couldn’t find more pace than that”.
He also added: “I struggled a lot in Turn 1 during quali. I couldn’t get my tyres ready the same as I did yesterday. I think I’ll have look with my engineers on what happened and what I can improve for tomorrow.”
The Finn work is going to be crucial tomorrow, as just 2 races, after Qatar, are left, and Mercedes is trying to secure their eighth consecutive Constructors' Championship.