Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Mugello, 2020

Bottas believes he could have found more time on aborted final lap

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000 qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas says he might have found the time he needed to beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position after being forced to abandon his final run in qualifying.

As Bottas prepared to begin his final run Esteban Ocon spun his Renault on the exit of Poggio Secco brought out the yellow flags. That forced Bottas to back out of his last attempt to pip his Mercedes team mate to pole position.

“I still had more time in there,” said Bottas. “I was just waiting for the time to get it all right.”

Bottas had topped all three practice sessions ahead of Hamilton but missed out on pole position to the championship leader for the fourth consecutive race weekend.

“Run one was okay, but not perfect,” he said. “So I was looking forward to the second run. But I just couldn’t get the opportunity. For sure it’s disappointing because the speed has been good all weekend.”

While Mugello was widely expected to be a difficult circuit for drivers to overtake on, Bottas believes there will be opportunities for him to challenge Hamilton in the track’s first grand prix tomorrow.

“Coming into the weekend we thought [overtaking] was going to be nearly impossible,” said Bottas. “But we’ve experienced the practice sessions and the track is so wide and there are so many lines you can take in the corners so you can at times avoid the dirty air in the corners. So maybe [we can pass]. I really hope so.

“It’s a long run to turn one. I hope the headwind stays for the race start because that would be a nice benefit if you’re behind.”

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2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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9 comments on “Bottas believes he could have found more time on aborted final lap”

  1. Bit of a shame he didn’t get the opportunity. But that’s how things go sometimes. Just focus on nailing that start, not almost going a tad early and then being a tad late, but just nailing it and beating Hamilton to the first corner.

    1. Yes, he should be more aggressive and not give an inch to hamilton at starts, if he takes both out everyone except mercedes fans will be happy cause we get a more interesting race, and if he doesn’t, then maybe he’ll manage to get past hamilton and get a chance to win a race, remember bottas only won a race this year, so I don’t call him a championship contender, but given mercedes’ level it’s embarassing to not win more races.

  2. Poor Bottas. Could have, should have, would have but did not.

    1. None of what he actually says is quoted in the article in the words you are using. The title also isn’t what he says himself.

      He has a point though. Virtually all the weekend, he’s been better than Hamilton. If he believes his first lap wasn’t perfect (which was barely any slower than Hamilton’s – despite Hamilton getting two attempts) and given he knew the areas he could improve, given Hamilton failed to improve, it is very possible he would have found enough time to close up that tiny gap to Hamilton enough to beat him.

      1. It really doesn’t matter he didn’t get his second qualifying lap in. Bottas has shown many times now he just hasn’t got the killer instinct needed to properly compete for the championship.

  3. lol waiting for the right time to get it right so when is the right time and when will it ever be the right time?

  4. Waiting for the Mercedes put BOT behind OCO on purpose comments. No one seemed to be towing today.

  5. This is motorsport. You deal with what is, not what you would wish to be. Last week, Hamilton and Mercedes were cruising to a comfortable victory by miles before Magnussen and Hass threw a complete wreck into it. It happens. That is why consistency is key.

  6. Haas. Sorry.

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