Valtteri Bottas admits he does not know where Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton found time over him during Q3 in Bahrain.
Bottas was Hamilton’s closest challenger in the final session of qualifying, however the recently crowned seven-time World Champion ousted Bottas by a margin of three-tenths at the end of the session.
It marked Hamilton’s 10th pole position of 2020 and the 98th of his career.
Speaking about his final lap, Bottas believes it was “really good”, and could not pinpoint where his chances of pole position slipped away.
“I don’t really know, actually,” said the Finn. “It felt good, that’s the problem, when it feels good, you feel like you’re extracting everything out of the car.
“But the lap time is not there – that’s the most confusing part. I cannot say more at the moment, there were no mistakes on the last lap.
“I thought it was really good. It’s like small things here and there, there’s not one clear corner. I need to find out but, at least, it’s another front row lockout for us.”
Both Hamilton and Bottas will start Sunday’s race on the Medium compound, with Bottas carrying confidence from his long-run pace on Friday into the race.
“I don’t think there’s any underlaying issue, really, with the performance of the car,” Bottas said. “I think it’s there, the long runs were good, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon look set to provide Mercedes with its biggest challenge on Sunday, as they will line-up in third and fourth respectively.