“It is annoying”- Valtteri Bottas on his teammate Lewis Hamilton for snatching pole position from him during the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The qualifying session at the Algarve circuit was yet another flex by Mercedes as the team took the first two spots with ease while smashing the clock.
However, Valtteri Bottas seems unhappy about his position, as the Finnish was set to take the pole position until Lewis Hamilton cruised past the line to pounce on the pole position with a tiny margin.
A rapid final run, and a 9️⃣7️⃣th pole for @LewisHamilton 💪
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 24, 2020
Speaking on the incident, Bottas naturally seemed unhappy as it drops his chances to win the race on Sunday, and said that it is annoying.
“It is annoying,” Bottas admitted after qualifying. “It’s very annoying, that’s the word.
“But practice sessions, being at the top, it doesn’t matter anything. Always I try to reset from each session to focus on the coming one,”
“And especially after practice three, you always need to reset and obviously take all the learnings you can from the practice and try to do things even better.
“Knowing that you have the pace, it’s annoying, but that’s how it is. Quickly, I have to forget that. It’s only qualifying, and the race is tomorrow, and I know I will have the speed.”
Bottas said he should have opted to do two timed laps in the closing minutes of qualifying as Hamilton did. He confirmed he had decided to go for a single flying lap but that this proved to be the wrong decision.
“It was a decent lap,” says Bottas. “Not perfect. It’s been tricky here to get really clean laps this weekend because of the way the track is. But the lap was good. I think ultimately I should have gone for two timed laps.”
I decided to run on medium.
Bottas says he chose to run on the medium compound as he believed they were quicker than the soft tyres around the Portimao circuit.
“Obviously at the end, we decided to go for the mediums based on just a feeling,” he explained. “Previously in qualifying the mediums actually felt a tiny bit quicker than the softs, so that was the reason.
“Then it was choosing if we do two timed laps with a cool-down lap in between or just one timed lap. Obviously, with one timed lap, you can have less fuel in the car, but you might struggle with the tyre warm-up.”
“I went for that. It was my decision to go for one timed lap because it worked in Q2, but apparently, it seems like doing two timed laps for Lewis was better.”
Having successfully beaten his teammate to the first corner at the Nurburgring, Bottas is wary that starting on the dirtier side of the grid tomorrow will make repeating that feat more challenging.
“I think for sure it would have been nice to have been on the clean side, on P1,” Bottas says. “But I will do whatever I can from P2.”