Bottas sure error didn't cost him pole

By on Saturday, October 11, 2014
Williams Martini Racing

Williams Martini Racing

Valtteri Bottas is sure that an error on his final flying lap during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix did not cost him a chance at claiming his maiden Formula 1 pole position.

Bottas had set a time faster than Lewis Hamilton after the second sector split but ran wide at the final corner and did not manage to improve on his earlier lap time, meaning that he finished the session in third.

But while believing that his mistake cost him a shot at a front row slot, the Finn reckons second place was the maximum.

"I took a bit too much out of the tyres in the first two sectors and they started to fall away in the final corners and this maybe cost us a chance of finishing on the front row," he said.

"Mercedes have looked very strong in the final sector all weekend so I don’t think pole was possible but it would have been good to see where that lap would have put me.

"The benefit is that we will be starting on the cleaner side of the grid and this could be very beneficial on a new track with a lot of dirt off line. Third is a good result and we have strong race pace so hopefully we can battle with the Mercedes cars and secure another podium finish tomorrow."

Team-mate Felipe Massa will start the race from a lowly 17th on the grid after his FW36 was beset by a technical problem during the opening segment to qualifying.

"I’m very disappointed as the car has been looking very competitive at this track and we should have been looking at the second row at least, but a problem with the car in Q1 has pushed us down the grid," he said.

"I had no real power throughout qualifying and we were trying different things to resolve this out on track but in the end there was nothing I could do."

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