Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas claimed his best ever qualifying result with 3rd place ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, but the Finnish driver isn’t very happy with the result.
His Q3 time of 1.22.481 was three-tenths adrift of the pole lap that Lewis Hamilton was able to string together. The Mercedes duo were split by a very fast Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari.
After the session, Bottas said,
“Third is not ideal – I think in general I’m not happy for the result. Myself I didn’t quite get any perfect laps in, so I’m not that satisfied. But tomorrow is the day that matters – it seems that we have been quite strong on the practice starts, so hopefully we can keep that going tomorrow.
I’m really proud for what the team have done. I only saw a small part of the preparation but it’s really nice to see all the work has paid off.”
– Valtteri Bottas
Predictions for the Australian Grand Prix:
It’s a long run down to a bottlenecking turn one, it will be fascinating to see which driver emerges in the lead of the race after lights out. Mercedes were able to pull off a 17-lap stint of the Ultrasofts in practice, with little drop off in performance. Many are expecting a one-stop race between the Ultrasofts and the Supersofts, meaning that there won’t be much opportunity to gain net positions on pit-stop strategy.
Albert Park isn’t famous for overtaking, so if it’s a fairly static race, it shouldn’t be used as evidence for an upcoming season barren of on-track action, that judgement will have to wait. Bottas, like the man in his seat last season, is the underdog at Mercedes. Hamilton has started the weekend on top form, but the Finnish driver is keen to better his teammate off the line.