Valtteri Bottas says he is “not too bothered” to be half a second off teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix due to the tow he can get at the start of the race.
Hamilton was in supreme form during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps and was more than half a second clear of Bottas throughout Q3 as he took the 93rd pole position of his career. Despite the big gap, the Finn says the power of the tow up to Les Combes gives him a good chance of fighting for the lead on the opening lap.
“Turn 1 was a bit inconsistent, but I think we got the car right there,” Bottas said. “It’s just that on the first run in Q3, I think the tires were a bit too cold at the start of the lap, so I had a bit of a lock-up there; so that was it for the first run.
“The second run felt actually pretty good, overall, so I don’t know where’s the gap to Lewis. But I’m not too bothered, because I know second place is a good place to start here, it will be an interesting run into Turn 5.”
Bottas said he will be analyzing previous starts to work out his tactics for the opening lap, as he looks to take advantage of the tow on Sunday.
“Of course you can plan something, but, always in the end, it’s always different. We look at all the other starts here from previous years, take the learning and prepare for any kind of situations, but you have to go with instinct as well, so I’ll be trying to find the way to make things interesting.”
The Finn says it is important he fights his teammate hard at the start given the deficit in the drivers’ championship, with Hamilton 43 points clear in the standings.
“I need to attack if I still want to keep the title hopes there. Nothing is, obviously, over until it’s over and I’m going to go for it. The first lap is always a great opportunity but here racing is always great, so at least I know already there will be plenty of opportunities to do it.”