Valtteri Bottas has revealed brake problems prevented him from being more competitive in qualifying after being knocked off the front row by Sebastian Vettel.
The Finn has been struggling for form since the summer break and fell to P3 on Sunday’s grid after failing to get any closer than four tenths to team-mate and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton, with Vettel managing to sandwich himself in between.
“Definitely the last sector in qualifying, I did struggle more,” Bottas said. “It felt more tricky, for some reason, in some of the practice sessions.
“There have been things I have been struggling with – brake modulation and locking, transferring weight. I have struggled to get it together and many times 13 and 15 I lost a bit of time – those are the longest corners.
“Sometimes I got it right, but even so I couldn’t match Lewis in terms of cornering speeds, etc. It was looking good for us, and quite close with Lewis, so disappointed.”
Bottas also said the wind was a notable factor, which was also cited by Vettel and Hamilton in their post-qualifying interviews.
“It was not easy session, every lap a bit different,” Bottas added. “There was no big mistake, there was just this big gap.
“The first run felt okay. Lewis managed to gain more from Q2 to Q3, [but] I couldn’t find any track improvements [and] I couldn’t improve in the second run.
“It was quite tricky session with the wind, we have been making big set-up changes in the weekend, have been making car quicker, but tricky to drive – for me at least.
“The laps felt good, but just couldn’t go quicker.”
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