Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2018

Bottas: Lack of tow cost me shot at pole

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says he could have taken pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix if he’d had a tow on his final Q3 run.

The Mercedes driver qualified third, 0.16 seconds off team mate Lewis Hamilton, who starts from pole position.

“I’m not far away but here the margins are small,” said Bottas. “I knew this weekend I did have the pace to be on pole. I think it was there for me to grab but I couldn’t take it today.

“I was more than two tenths up in the second run but lost everything in the last corner on the back straight without any tow, so it was quite disappointing.”

Bottas was the first driver in the queue of cars during their final runs, meaning he did not have the benefit of a slipstream.

“I think at the beginning of the lap it was getting very good, then the middle of the lap was average and lost a tiny bit in the last corner.

“But the main time loss, I think it was more than a tenth, was just up the hill, just losing time on the straight. No drama, but definitely not a perfect lap but I think with a perfect lap pole would have been possible.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff agreed Bottas potentially lost out through not having a slipstream.

“We see some advantages with a little bit of a tow,” he explained. “Disadvantages in some of the corners but both of them in their delta time lost about a tenth going out of the last corner up the hill.

“Maybe Valtteri being the first of them track not benefiting of anybody in front of him, might have lost a little bit more.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Bottas: Lack of tow cost me shot at pole”

  1. Valtteri Bottas says he could have taken pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix if he’d had a tow on his final Q3 run.

    Sorry, but no, no tow. If you want to be the next World Drivers’ Champion then you need to expect to get Pole Position without a tow.

    1. Yep, or alternatively, organize /place yourself to have a tow, ie. not go first then @drycrust

    2. Or alternatively, get Mercedes to produce King of PU with 80hp advantage to the rest of field.

  2. Is he ever blaming himself this year? He seems to rely so much on excuses. Watching Lewis’ pole lap, he did’nt benefit from slipstream either coming out of the last corner.

    I don’t think Bottas improved at all as a driver compared to last year, but somehow he gets away with it.

    1. i don’t know how saying he could have got pole is an excuse… It could well have been possible which is what he’s implying. Any driver could say something like this. I find Bottas to make less excuses than most drivers and is always very honest. Also notice that his team boss also agreed that Bottas ging first out of everyone quite ossibly did effect his time.I don’t see the problem with Bottas’s comment.

  3. So Ferrari wasn’t the quickest car yesterday?

    1. In qualifying it was probably even between ferrari and mercedes, it’s well known hamilton can often extract that little extra performance in a single lap, a tenth is easily believable, and bottas was very similar to raikkonen.

      In the race looks like red bull was stronger than mercedes, which was stronger than ferrari, neither of them by big margins, unlike in mexico, where ferrari and merc were swapped too ofc.

  4. Mercedes could have it embossed on Bottas’ steering wheel next year:
    “OK, so, Lewis is faster than you”.
    -Just to stop him getting any funky ideas about winning the thing.

    1. Ha ha, I was thinking something similar, “since when does a #2 get a tow?”

      1. A wingman doesn’t need a tow, only needs hot air drafts

      2. Did Lewis get a ‘tow’ yesterday….

        One driver’s tow, is another driver’s wake or turbulance.

        Would Bottas really have benifited by driving in the slipstream of a marginally ‘slower driver’, with both presumably driving to qualify, or was this all theoretical?

  5. What was that about you wanting to win for yourself without it being given to you?
    First thing you do is complaining you didnt get a tow to pole… good start

  6. You should have gone daster on your oulap to say closer to a car ahead.

      1. What do you mean with “say closer to a car ahead”?

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