“It has been looking pretty good all weekend,” Bottas said. “Also, in Q1 and Q2 was all nice and smooth but, in Q3, to be honest, I don’t know. I found some gains but, obviously, the others found more.
“I think here it’s pretty sensitive with the tyres, getting it right. In the first run in Q3 my tyres were too cold, in the second run I don’t know, I just couldn’t go any quicker, so there are some question marks over there but, actually third is a pretty good place to start from. And I think I’m on the right tyre, as well.”
Despite that optimism, it was a shock to see Bottas so far off Hamilton’s pace in Q3 after he had set the pace in both Friday practice sessions himself. Bottas was over 0.6s adrift of his team mate, and is at a bit of a loss to explain how there was such a difference in performance at the end of qualifying.
“Q3 was a tricky one. In the first run I didn’t feel my tyres were ready, so at the end of the out lap I had a big snap, so I lost already a couple of tenths on the run down into Turn 2 and when I got there I had a massive snap oversteer, so the tyres only came in, really, towards the end of the lap.