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Bottas "confused" by loss of Qatar pace but now with "nothing to lose"

Bottas "confused" by loss of Qatar pace but now with "nothing to lose"

F1 News

Bottas "confused" by loss of Qatar pace but now with "nothing to lose"

Bottas "confused" by loss of Qatar pace but now with "nothing to lose"

Valtteri Bottas has conceded to being "confused" as to where his pace disappeared to ahead of qualifying for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.

Bottas topped the second and third practice sessions at the Losail International Circuit and was described by trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin as "the man" after leading the way on Friday.

But it was team-mate Lewis Hamilton who was imperious in qualifying as he was quickest in all three sessions en route to claiming his 102nd pole, with Bottas only third as he was also beaten by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"It had been a good weekend until qualifying for me," assessed Bottas. "I felt really strong and comfortable in the car but I don't know what happened overnight.

"I could feel in FP3, for sure the wind was a bit different to Friday. I was still fastest but I needed to push a lot so I knew that I really couldn't find much more.

"In quali, I struggled quite a bit, especially in turn one. I struggled to get the tyres ready, unlike yesterday evening. So I need to have a look.

"Obviously, I tried my best but I'm a little bit confused with what happened with the car overnight."

In Brazil, Bottas pulled aside early in the race to allow a charging Hamilton by to hunt down Verstappen and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez who were running one and two.

Starting directly behind his pole-sitting team-mate on this occasion, Bottas confirmed he is again ready to play the team game.

"I don't really have much to lose personally," added the Finn. "I hope the grip is going to be good on the clean side for me and Lewis and hopefully we go from there."

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