Valtteri Bottas says he might have found the time he needed to beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position after being forced to abandon his final run in qualifying.Esteban Ocon spun his Renault on the exit of Poggio Secco brought out the yellow flags. That forced Bottas to back out of his last attempt to pip his Mercedes team mate to pole position.
“I still had more time in there,” said Bottas. “I was just waiting for the time to get it all right.”
Bottas had topped all three practice sessions ahead of Hamilton but missed out on pole position to the championship leader for the fourth consecutive race weekend.
“Run one was okay, but not perfect,” he said. “So I was looking forward to the second run. But I just couldn’t get the opportunity. For sure it’s disappointing because the speed has been good all weekend.”
While Mugello was widely expected to be a difficult circuit for drivers to overtake on, Bottas believes there will be opportunities for him to challenge Hamilton in the track’s first grand prix tomorrow.
“Coming into the weekend we thought [overtaking] was going to be nearly impossible,” said Bottas. “But we’ve experienced the practice sessions and the track is so wide and there are so many lines you can take in the corners so you can at times avoid the dirty air in the corners. So maybe [we can pass]. I really hope so.
“It’s a long run to turn one. I hope the headwind stays for the race start because that would be a nice benefit if you’re behind.”
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