“We ended up with quite different set-ups”- Valtteri Bottas reveals that Mercedes have installed different setups for both drivers for this Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton has managed to pick another pole position, taking his total tally to 98 throughout his career. On the other hand, his teammate Valtteri Bottas came at P2, defeating Max Verstappen in process.
Despite having a clean lap, as claimed by Bottas, he was surprised to see the difference between Hamilton and him being more than 4/10ths of the second.
Mercedes’ weekend so far has featured an unusual programme for an event that has had its full allocation of track time, as the team opted not to do any set-up work in Friday practice to spend more time learning the prototype tyres Pirelli brought to be tested in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
After explaining that this meant Mercedes had “compromised performance for this weekend”, Bottas revealed “we ended up with quite different set-ups, with Lewis” in the post-qualifying press conference.
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He added: “We’ll see if that makes any difference tomorrow, but he’s had a really good weekend overall, every session. All the time I’ve had the feeling that I have the speed but I haven’t quite put it all together. It felt like I got it together at the end, but obviously, it wasn’t enough.”
Bottas said it was “not at all” unusual for the two Mercedes drivers to take different set-ups. There have been times it’s been nearly identical, there have been times it’s been different, that’s how it goes.”
There was nothing else to find in Q3
Speaking on his haul in Q3 which displace Verstappen for his quest for the P2, Verstappen claimed that there was nothing else to seek as he thought everything was on his court.
“The end of the Q3 lap was actually really good – it felt like there was not much more to really find. That was the feeling when I crossed the line. So, I was pleased with that, but obviously, it wasn’t enough for pole. I was quite surprised when I saw the gap [to Hamilton].”