Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Bottas “not too bothered” at missing pole position, eyeing chances at start

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says he isn’t concerned at being beaten to pole position by Lewis Hamilton because the first sector at Spa offers opportunities to overtake at the start.

However Bottas admitted he did not expect to qualify over half a second behind his team mate.

“In qualifying itself, everything was feeling pretty OK,” he said. “Just the first run in Q3 I had a lock-up into turn one. I don’t think I got my tyres warm enough on the out-lap.

“So again it was down to the second run. Everything was still possible and it was actually a clean lap. Maybe not the best turn one, but it was OK, and otherwise the lap was nice and clean and it really felt like I was pushing the limits.

“But obviously quite a big gap. I’m not sure yet why but Lewis did a good job today.”

The long run from La Source through Eau Rouge and Raidillon to Les Combes at Spa can make it difficult for the pole sitter to stay ahead at the start. Bottas is hoping to take advantage of that.

“I’m not too bothered because I know second place is quite a good place to start,” he said. “It’s always quite an interesting run into turn five. So I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“You can plan something but in the end, every start is always different,” he added.

“Of course we look at all the other starts here in the previous years and try to take the learnings and be prepared for any kind of situations, but you have to go with the instincts as well. We’ll try and find a way to make things interesting.”

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2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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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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10 comments on “Bottas “not too bothered” at missing pole position, eyeing chances at start”

  1. His driving abilities are so flattered by this car. Nearly out qualified by a Red Bull at Spa in a Mercedes, smh.

  2. Oh come on Valtteri. Even you know you won’t challenge Lewis tomorrow. Focus on securing 2nd place for the team. Your true purpose.

    1. I laughed a little while reading this, because it’s so true. the truth hurts!

    2. not his role indeed, merc is likely to engineer a way to avoid bottas jumping lewis, his role is to keep max entertained.

  3. Not taking pole is not such a big issue at Spa. But to be at more than 0,5 s of your team is an issue (even at Spa). I have a feeling that he should also be very worries at that Red Bull and Renault breathing down his neck

    1. Exactly, another poor or just middling start and it may not even be him getting the tow.

  4. He should be bothered that Verstappen is right behind him though

  5. He really didn’t care. Time to invite Russell to test drive for a day.

  6. I mean when you don’t care or are not bothered by being beaten by your teammate by a .5 sec margin, it shows that you are basically saying am no match for him. Such low expectations!!!

    1. If after all these years as his teammate he thinks he is a match for Hamilton, then he is delusional. He probably thinks he can occasionally beat Ham on a good day, and there to pick up the pieces when Ham is not functioning at 100%. Which is about all he and the majority of the grid could hope for.

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