Bottas confused by disappearing pace in Qatar GP qualifying

Valtteri Bottas says he was left confused about where his pace disappeared to on Saturday, as he ended up third on the grid for Formula 1’s Qatar Grand Prix.

Bottas confused by disappearing pace in Qatar GP qualifying

The Finn had made a strong start to the weekend in Friday practice, and was again on top of the standings in Saturday morning’s final session before qualifying.

However, he said that from the start of the day’s running he had not felt as comfortable as before with his car – and that explained why he couldn’t match teammate Lewis Hamilton who took pole position.

“It's been a good weekend so far, until the qualifying for me,” said Bottas.

“I felt really comfortable and strong in the car, but I don't know what's happened overnight.

“I could feel in FP3 that the wind was different to yesterday. I was still fastest, but I had to push a lot, and so I knew that I really couldn't find much more.

“And in quali, I struggled quite a bit, especially in turn one. I struggled to get the tyres ready, unlike yesterday evening.

“We need to have a look. Honestly, I tried my best but I’m a little bit confused about what happened with the car overnight.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

While Bottas felt his car was worse than Friday, Hamilton said a late-night session with his engineers at the Losail circuit had transformed his feel inside the Mercedes.

“Yesterday was a really difficult day for me actually,” he said after grabbing pole position.

“On Thursday and Friday, I wasn't feeling too well. So I really struggled throughout practice and I was just off yesterday.

“I really had to dig deep. I was here until midnight last night working with the engineers, who also always work so late as they're just such hard workers, and found a lot of areas in which I can improve.

“We made some changes for P3 and it seemed to work, and then of course, you've got to try and carry that through into qualifying.

“But I'm so grateful for the timings that they put us out on track. We didn't have any traffic and then just that last lap was beautiful. It was a really sweet lap.”

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Qatar GP: Hamilton storms to F1 pole ahead of Verstappen
Previous article

Qatar GP: Hamilton storms to F1 pole ahead of Verstappen

Next article

Leclerc "confused" by Qatar qualifying struggles after Q2 exit

Leclerc "confused" by Qatar qualifying struggles after Q2 exit
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021