But that is of no concern to the Finn as he clinched his first F1 victory at the track three years ago after starting from third, while he remains optimistic he can take advantage of the tyre situation and the kilometre-long run to the first major corner.
Bottas had carried his practice form into qualifying, finishing top of Q1 and only bettered by Daniel Ricciardo at the end of a hectic Q2 session complicated by Sebastian Vettel's accident with just over two minutes remaining.
In Q3, however, after a mistake on his first run, he was left baffled as to why he finished so far adrift of Hamilton following the second.
"Q3 was a tricky one," reflected Bottas. "In the first run I didn’t feel my tyres were ready, so out of the last corner, starting the lap, I had a big snap and lost a couple of tenths on the run down to turn two where I had massive oversteer and the tyres only came in towards the end of the lap.
"I was just waiting for the second run then and there were no mistakes as such, turn two, maybe there was a tiny lock-up, went a bit wide.
"To be honest, I don’t really get it why I couldn’t match Lewis’ times in Q3. I just didn’t feel I was gaining much grip from previous sessions.
"I think even Q2 felt better, so a few question marks from me about what really happened – or maybe I was just playing games and wanted to start third!"
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