Bottas says work addressing tyres "weak point" led to pole

Valtteri Bottas feels his efforts addressing a previous 2021 Formula 1 qualifying "weak point" in finding the new Pirelli tyres' best operating temperatures led to his Portuguese Grand Prix pole.

Bottas says work addressing tyres "weak point" led to pole
Listen to this article

Bottas failing to warm up his tyres sufficiently in Q3 last time out at Imola meant he slumped to eighth on the grid, and further struggles with retaining tyre temperature in the Emilia Romagna race meant he was lapped before half distance, just before he was eliminated in his enormous accident with George Russell.

The issue of good tyre warm-up has been a central theme to the Portimao weekend so far, with drivers across the field struggling on the smooth, low-grip surface, but Bottas was able to put his previous troubles behind him to claim his 17th F1 career pole ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in Q3 on Saturday.

The two Mercedes drivers did still have tyre temperature drama late on, as they failed to recapture their Q2 pace on the medium tyres for their final runs in Q3, which Bottas said was perhaps down to "the wind [picking] up in the last run and I couldn't quite get the temperature [again]".

"It's a good feeling to be on pole," Bottas said after climbing from his W12 in parc ferme. "It feels like it's been a while. It was nice to get a good qualifying – it's been the weak point for me in the first two races, [with] getting the tyres to work.

"Again this weekend we've been working hard and it's nice to see it's paying off and puts me in a good position for tomorrow."

Read Also:

Speaking later in the post-qualifying press conference, Bottas said the result "certainly put a smile on my face".

He added: "Because in the first two races of the season, the qualifying really from my side hasn't been, at least in the Q3 session, the strong point.

"Getting everything out of the tyres and for the tyres to work well has been a bit of a weakness.

"But now it felt like things were starting to go in the right direction. I've been feeling strong all weekend, so I knew it was possible, and definitely makes me really happy to put it together in Q3 and be on pole.

"As a team as well, with the pressure and with the battle with Red Bull, it's good to be ahead."

 

When asked what was behind his tyre warm-up breakthrough, Bottas replied: "Out laps, looking at those things – it's so much about tyres.

"And yeah, just also trusting your own work and set-up direction. Everything."

shares
comments

Related video

Russell: Williams has "to be aiming for points" from 11th
Previous article

Russell: Williams has "to be aiming for points" from 11th

Next article

Verstappen thought he could replicate deleted laptime

Verstappen thought he could replicate deleted laptime
Load comments
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022
Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives Prime

Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives

Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars when Gilles Villeneuve was killed during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Forty years on, Motorsport.com picks out the greatest drives by a Ferrari legend

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat Prime

The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat

OPINION: Much was made of Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix – what turned out to be a very ‘marmite’ event for both those in attendance and everyone following on TV. But even as the on-track battle between Red Bull and Ferrari it produced continued the negative run of results for the red team, it contained a glimmer it must hope continues to shine

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge Prime

How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge

OPINION: Despite all of the stylistic embellishments festooning Formula 1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Miami International Autodrome offered the drivers a unique challenge and punished driver errors; a stark contrast to the usual cast of modern-day circuits

Formula 1
May 10, 2022
Why F1’s turbulent relationship with Russia is nothing new Prime

Why F1’s turbulent relationship with Russia is nothing new

Russia’s involvement in Formula 1 has been big on promise but short on delivery – then reached the end of the road prematurely. MARK GALLAGHER investigates why

Formula 1
May 10, 2022