Mercedes' Bottas explains 'big' US GP qualifying gap to Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas admitted he struggled on the brakes compared to Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton in US Grand Prix qualifying, after lapping nearly half a second slower in Q3

Mercedes' Bottas explains 'big' US GP qualifying gap to Hamilton

After a difficult day of practice on Friday, where he ended up more than six tenths down running a different set-up to Hamilton, Bottas closed to within 0.214s of his team-mate in final practice at Austin on Saturday.

But Bottas remained behind in qualifying and fell further away in the final stages, ending up 0.460s down on Hamilton and knocked off the front row of the grid by a late improvement from Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari.

Bottas lost most of the time in the final sector and said he had been struggling under braking particularly in the slow-speed hairpins of Turn 13 and 15.

"Definitely the last sector in qualifying, I did struggle more," Bottas admitted.

"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 [at Turn] 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 has struggled to find consistent form in recent races, and hasn't beaten Hamilton in qualifying since July's Hungarian GP.

"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."

shares
comments
Kevin Magnussen punished for blocking Sergio Perez in F1 qualifying

Previous article

Kevin Magnussen punished for blocking Sergio Perez in F1 qualifying

Next article

Sebastian Vettel 'struggled' for rhythm until last US GP Q3 run

Sebastian Vettel 'struggled' for rhythm until last US GP Q3 run
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021