Valtteri Bottas admits that Ferrari were “getting better and better throughout qualifying” at the Singapore GP.
Charles Leclerc took a sensational pole for Ferrari, his third in a row, while Lewis Hamilton was able to ensure that Mercedes were represented on the front row by pipping Sebastian Vettel to P2.
But for Bottas it was a difficult session and he will start the race P5 after ending Q3 over 0.9s slower than Leclerc.
He believes that Ferrari were growing stronger as qualifying raged on, but also that he could have made it onto the second row.
“They seemed strong obviously and we knew they could be strong, but they were just getting better and better through qualifying, a bit more than we expected,” Bottas told reporters at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
“Still I think the second row was very possible for me. I felt really good in Q1 and Q2, but Q3 was very messy with out-laps, always traffic.”
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Bottas said that as well as having problems with traffic, he also struggled to get the soft Pirelli tyres into their “sweet spot”.
“I couldn’t get the tyres warmed up for the timed laps and that’s why it was tricky, so it’s a shame because the potential was there,” he confirmed.
“This kind of track to find the rhythm and get the tyres in the sweet spot it makes a massive difference.
“Q3 it was way off what it should have been. We tried to find the clean air for the out-lap but you can never predict what every other team is doing, so it was a bit unlucky but that’s life.”
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