Bottas: ‘I really struggled’ during qualifying


Valtteri Bottas admitted that could not quite get his Mercedes where he wanted it during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Finn was less than two tenths behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, as the pair locked out the front row for the Silver Arrows.

However, Bottas believes he had more time in him, and that his British team-mate just got more of a complete lap in.

“First of all, Lewis had quite a last lap, so congratulations for that,” Bottas said.

“In my first lap I felt there was plenty I could improve and the gap would get smaller between us than in the first runs.

“In the second run I think there was definitively some track improvement, and both of us managed to find some time.

“But he just managed to get a little bit of a more complete lap, in the end.”

The Finn, who is still yet to win a grand prix this season, also struggled to get clean run during the qualifying session.

“I think that what hurt me a bit was there was a couple of runs in qualifying where I couldn’t get a good lap in,” he admitted.

“I think with the Ultrasoft tyres, at the start of Q2 and in some other runs I really struggled with some things in the car.

“I think I lost a lot a little bit of time in Turns 17 and 18, it’s very difficult to get it perfectly right.

“He’s performing well, he was tough to beat this time, there was probably a little bit more time in me, but he also did a really good lap.”

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