Valtteri Bottas was left frustrated in Baku after losing what could have been his second pole of 2017 to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, having been on top before the final runs.
Prior the red flag with 3m33s to go the Finn was on top, after Hamilton made a mistake on his first Q3 run. But while he improved on his own final run after the session restarted, Hamilton made a huge leap to grab pole.
“Definitely not clean enough,” he said of his final lap. “I think Lewis had a really good lap and I didn’t. I wasn’t quite comfortable with the tire temperatures. It was the first lap with the tire set that we actually tried to go for, and just didn’t get them to work as well as Lewis and, yeah, just couldn’t get enough grip.
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“All the running before that was good and before the red flag everything was going OK but yeah, so, disappointing in the end to lose the pole position. That was the target personally for me today but, what I’m really proud of is that we made quite big changes through the practice sessions.
“We were quite lost, to be honest, in the beginning and managed to turn that around so, for that, I’m really, really pleased – and definitely for tomorrow we have, as a team, a great starting position and we’re definitely going to have a good fight and try to get another one-two for the season.”
Bottas didn’t blame the red flag for costing him a shot at pole: “It didn’t really affect the rhythm. There was just kind of an extra opportunity. It was like two qualifyings really. We managed to go for another run and Lewis managed to get a better lap during that run than I, and that was it.”