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Bottas baffled by quali gap with Hamilton

Bottas baffled by quali gap with Hamilton
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Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas ended his qualifying session in P4 but will start tomorrow's British GP down on the fifth row following his 5-place demotion linked to a gearbox change.

The Finn was determined to give it his best shot in the all-important session given his penalty, but a lock-up on his ultimate lap in Q3 coupled with an overall lack of grip hindered his efforts.

While Bottas minimised the lock-up, he was at a loss to explain his car's sudden loss of speed compared to the performance of team mate Lewis Hamilton.

"It was tricky conditions for everyone but one the track dried it was like a normal qualifying, I just didn't feel  that good with the car," explained the Mercedes driver.

"Balance wasn't terrible but I was just missing overall grip. I think Lewis managed to do something  different, maybe on the out-laps, getting the tyres better prepared, but he was really quick today.

"The lock-up maybe cost me a tenth, or a bit more, but it doesn't explain that big difference to the front."

Despite his unfavourable spot on tomorrow's grid, Bottas believes big points are still in the cards thanks to his car's speed and the opportunities for overtaking which abound at Silverstone, not to mention the use of the Soft compound as an alternative strategy at the start.

"I think we have a strong car here, it's been really competitive all weekend, so starting P9 with a different tyre than all the guys in front should be interesting."

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