Bottas had a word with Hamilton about Q3 mix-up


Valtteri Bottas says he had a word with Lewis Hamilton behind closed doors to discuss the incident that involved the two Mercedes drivers in Singapore qualifying.

As the pair prepared for their final run in Q3, Bottas was running in front of Hamilton on his out-lap when the reigning world champion suddenly overtook the Finn in the final sector.

Bottas says his teammate's unexpected move crucially impacted his lap which subsequently left him fifth on the grid.


"In the first run there were lots of cars and all weekend we’ve been needing proper out laps to get the tyres switched on," explained Bottas.

"But we only got that in Q1 and also in Q2 it was pretty OK. But after that traffic always affected and the laps were quite messy.

"In the last run in Q3, that was not planned. I was slowing down because of the Red Bull ahead, trying to get a bit of a gap.

"I think Lewis didn’t know there was a car ahead of me, he thought I was just going slow for fun, but obviously it was incorrect. Then he got ahead, so I had to slow down again."

The drivers and their crews discussed the matter when all was said and done.

"We’ve discussed that internally, to make sure there are ways to make it never happen again, basically. But, no, it was not planned, for sure."

Bottas underlined the importance of his out-lap and the need to generate heat into his tyres before embarking on his final flyer.

"I think we had the quickest out-lap of all the teams, we needed that to get the tyres ready, especially the front tyres," he said.

"Ideally I would have had completely free air and we would have gone much quicker than what we were able to do.

"If you start the laps with the tyres too cold it’s quite easy to have snaps here and there. And then as you slide the tyres the grip is not there anymore.

"The difficult part is to get a good stagger between the front and the rear tyres.

"This is one of the most difficult tyres to get the temperatures up, there are not that many fast corners in the out-lap to get the temperature and the energy through the tyres, and it is that front to rear balance that it’s the issue for us here."

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