Valtteri Bottas, who starts third on the grid for today’s Brazilian Grand Prix, has stated that he could have been on pole instead of teammate, Hamilton, if only he had had some tow in the final sector of Interlagos yesterday.
“I’m not far away but here the margins are small,” said Bottas. “I knew this weekend I did have the pace to be on pole. I think it was there for me to grab but I couldn’t take it today.”
“I was more than two tenths up in the second run but lost everything in the last corner on the back straight without any tow, so it was quite disappointing.”
Bottas was the first car to go out on in track in Q3, which gave everyone behind him the benefit of a slipstream, meaning they did not have to contend with the dirty air as much as he did.
“I think at the beginning of the lap it was getting very good, then the middle of the lap was average and lost a tiny bit in the last corner,” he said.
“But the main time loss, I think it was more than a tenth, was just up the hill, just losing time on the straight. No drama, but definitely not a perfect lap but I think with a perfect lap pole would have been possible.”
Bottas was backed by team principal, Toto Wolff. “We see some advantages with a little bit of a tow. Disadvantages in some of the corners but both of them in their delta time lost about a tenth going out of the last corner up the hill,” he explained.
“Maybe Valtteri being the first of them track not benefiting of anybody in front of him, might have lost a little bit more.
The statement can also be viewed as a plea by Bottas to the Mercedes garage after his teammate told the media that he would not be repaying the Finn’s favours throughout the season.
He will be hoping to have better luck next season and for fair decision-making to launch a proper title bid.