Bottas "couldn’t trust rear-end" of Mercedes car in Imola Q3

Valtteri Bottas says he “couldn’t trust the rear-end” of his Mercedes Formula 1 car in the final stage of qualifying at Imola on Saturday, contributing to his P8 finish.

Bottas "couldn’t trust rear-end" of Mercedes car in Imola Q3

Bottas topped both FP1 and FP2 on Friday for Mercedes, and said he felt “a lot happier” with the W12 car after battling rear-end instability through pre-season testing and the opening race weekend in Bahrain.

But the Finn slumped to a disappointing eighth-place finish in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, ending the session almost half a second off team-mate Lewis Hamilton on pole position.

Bottas explained after qualifying that he felt a return of Mercedes’ rear-end struggles in Q3, leaving him unable to fully extract the performance from the car.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes in the Press Conference

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes in the Press Conference

Photo by: FIA Pool

“P8 definitely not what I was aiming for today, and especially with the feeling at the start of qualifying,” Bottas said.

“Q3 first run, I went into Turn 2 and had a really sudden snap from the rear-end, and then it really continued through Sector 1, and I lost a lot of time.

“Actually the same thing [happened] in the run two, it was never there. I couldn’t trust the rear end of the car, and it was something that I didn’t feel in the whole qualifying before that.

“I don’t know what happened. So I need to investigate. For sure, it’s disappointing.”

But Bottas felt that unlike the rear-end struggles he battled in Bahrain, the Mercedes W12 was now struggling more at corner-entry.

“It was something different [to Bahrain],” Bottas said.

“Now it was more in corner-entry, which I’ve never really had before.

Read Also:

“So yeah, we need to look first of all that everything was right with the car. It was not ideal.”

The result has left Bottas facing a fightback through the field on Sunday at a track where it is traditionally quite difficult to overtake.

It has also left Mercedes facing the prospect of Red Bull splitting its strategies to beat pole-sitter Hamilton, with Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen starting second and third respectively.

Asked about the prospect of fighting the Red Bulls alone on Sunday, Hamilton said he was relishing the challenge.

“It's great finally we've got the two Red Bulls there,” Hamilton said.

“I think it's going to definitely make strategy harder and it's going to be a real challenge tomorrow because they have got great race pace. I think their pace was strongest on the long run yesterday.”

shares
comments
Vettel missing "last bit of confidence" with Aston Martin F1 car

Previous article

Vettel missing "last bit of confidence" with Aston Martin F1 car

Next article

F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia Romagna GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Teams Mercedes
Author Luke Smith
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021