Bottas has explanation for big Hamilton gap in Italian GP weekend

Valtteri Bottas believes he effectively matched Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the end of Italian Grand Prix qualifying and only lost time because he had no tow

Bottas has explanation for big Hamilton gap in Italian GP weekend

Bottas has trailed Hamilton all weekend and on his final run in Q3 he lapped 0.35s slower than the Briton, who will start one place ahead of him in third.

That was Bottas's smallest deficit to Hamilton in the dry all weekend, even though the Finn did not run in anybody's slipstream on that last run.

"It was almost all lost in the straights, compared to Lewis," said Bottas. "I also had a lock-up into Turn 1 in the first run of Q3, which also made it more difficult for the second run.

"Overall it was not easy to get those laps together but, in the end, the last lap with a good tow could have been good."

Mercedes only made the decision to run its drivers close enough together to give each other a tow during qualifying.

Bottas ran in Hamilton's slipstream first, before they swapped places for the final run.

Bottas said: "Even the first run was good. I lost half a second [at Turn 1] but the rest of it was pretty close.

"It was nice to see where the lap time was, understand everything, [and] that's done.

"There was not much risk behind from Red Bull, which was kind of a good thing, because I didn't get 100% out of the package.

"The car felt balanced well in the long runs, the set-up now is pretty close, so it's all good."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said his driver has not felt settled in the car all weekend and made multiple changes across each session.

Bottas conceded it had been "quite a difficult weekend" so far, having been so closely matched with Hamilton at other GPs.

"We made quite a big set-up changes for FP3, but the car became very difficult under braking," he explained.

"So braking into Turn 1 and into Turn 4 [the two chicanes], over the bumps, the car just became more difficult and it was very easy to lock-up.

"I did a lot of mistakes in FP3 and didn't really get any clean laps.

"We then went pretty much back to what we had on Friday, with some small tweaks for the balance and the car was a lot better."

shares
comments
Wolff questions future of Mercedes' young F1 driver programme

Previous article

Wolff questions future of Mercedes' young F1 driver programme

Next article

Haas Formula 1 boss Steiner hits back at Fernando Alonso's jibes

Haas Formula 1 boss Steiner hits back at Fernando Alonso's jibes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Valtteri Bottas
Author Scott Mitchell
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

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

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

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
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021