Bottas thought lap was good enough for pole

Date published: July 18 2020

Valtteri Bottas red Pirellis

Valtteri Bottas says that, after his final lap in Q3, he thought he was in with a good shot of beating his team-mate to pole position.

The Finn ultimately had to settle for P2 as Lewis Hamilton also improved to go just a tenth quicker than him to take the 90th pole position of his career.

Bottas was still almost a second clear of Lance Stroll in P3 but was disappointed to miss out on pole nonetheless.

“I saw in practice that it was going to be a close battle between us at least in qualifying, and FP3 didn’t feel too bad,” he said after the session.

“In the beginning of the qualifying, until the very end of Q3, I was struggling a bit in the first sector mainly, Turn 1 braking wasn’t so comfortable there, so I was losing a bit of time.

“[At] Turn 2 [I] also struggled a bit with the snappiness of the rear end of the car, but I think when the track improved, the car was starting to come together.

“At the end, I have to say the lap was pretty good actually. I thought I might have a chance really with that lap, but Lewis was just a tenth quicker.

“He did ultimately a better job today in qualifying, that’s why he is on pole.”

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Mercedes are undoubtedly the quickest team when it comes to one lap pace. However, due to a wet FP2, they haven’t been able to do many long runs thus far this weekend.

Nevertheless, from the information collected in FP1, Bottas has no concerns about race pace.

“It’s pretty strong from the small amount of data that we managed to gather in practice one,” he added.

“Of course we missed a lot of the running in practice two, so some question marks there, but overall the package we have should be good in the race as well.”

The Finn will be hoping to hold on to his championship lead by winning at the Hungaroring for the first time. Currently, his best-ever finish at the track is P3, while Hamilton has won there seven times.

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