Valtteri Bottas said he was disappointed not to improve on his final flying lap in qualifying despite taking pole position for tomorrow’s race.
“The main thing [is] there was no cars ahead of me so no tow at all,” he said. “I could see and feel that I was not so fast on the straights.
“The corners were quite OK still, I would say I didn’t quite nail turn seven and eight, and maybe turn 10 exit. It is a tricky circuit to get everything right with the twisty sections and everything. [I’m] just happy it was enough for pole.”
George Russell, who has replaced Lewis Hamilton at the team this weekend, ended qualifying just two-hundredths of a second behind Bottas. The newcomer also headed both practice sessions on Friday.
“Yesterday was quite a tricky day for me personally but today was a lot better,” said Bottas. “The car felt more complete and more driveable so I could really build on it lap by lap in practice three and then with a good feeling in the qualifying.
“I’m just slightly disappointed in myself at the end with the lap I didn’t improve at the end. I was also the only car without any tow, the lap was not that great so I couldn’t improve on the last run.”
Bottas said it was difficult to find time around the short, 53-second lap, but he was impressed by the job Russell did.
“On a track like this, you can’t really make a big difference so the gaps are really small as you can see,” he said.
“But I have to say George really did a good job. He was really building up to it and I could see the progress in qualifying. So I’m really happy for us as a team that we can be one-two on the grid. It’s another big achievement for us.”
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