Bottas certainly looked the more comfortable driver out of the dominant Mercedes duo. The Finn topped FP3, Q1 and Q2 but Hamilton, as he so often does, pulled it out of the bag when it really mattered the most in Q3
Bottas started the 2019 British Grand Prix from pole position only to finish second, so he is hoping after his strong long-run performance in practice can help him turn the tables on his one and only title rival.
“I think my long-run performance this weekend has been really good,” Bottas said in the post-qualifying interviews.
“I believe there will be opportunities.
Obviously, Lewis last year managed to win it from second place with a different strategy from me so everything is still wide open and no doubt the guys will try to mix it up from behind so we will see.”
As for Bottas’ thoughts on his qualifying session, he reflected: “The car was feeling pretty good, the balance of the car was drifting a bit more towards oversteer.
“I don’t know if the track temps were getting higher, but with both runs in Q3 I really struggled to attack the slow-speed corners as I had done before, and in turns 12, 13, I started to struggle with the rear end, it was a bit snappy.
“At the same time, Lewis had a perfect lap in the end, or at least near to perfection. It was a pretty impressive lap time, and I just couldn’t quite match it with the balance I had otherwise it was okay.”
Bottas was three tenths down on Hamilton when Q3 was all said and done, but the six-time World Champion name-checked his team-mate for providing him with the competition whilst other teams struggle to get anywhere near their level.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) August 1, 2020
“Obviously there’s a relatively big gap between us and third place, but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day – Valtteri is pushing me right to the limit,” Hamilton said.
“He’s been doing such a fantastic job all weekend.
“I made some changes going into qualifying and it was worse, it was a real struggle out there.
“This track is awesome because with a gust of wind, you have a tailwind and headwind and crosswind across the circuit so it’s like juggling balls like you’re on a moving plate, at high speed!
“Obviously we had that spin. Qualifying is a lot about confidence building and man, I was already down and down in the first sector every lap.
“I don’t know how, but some deep breaths manage to compose myself.
“Q3 still wasn’t perfect but still a really clean lap, and the second one even better. It never gets old that’s for sure.”
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