Out-lap traffic contributed to Q3 defeat - Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas says traffic on his out lap contributed to his defeat to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Bottas, following three straight pole positions, led the way after the initial Q3 push laps but Hamilton – despite a moment through Rascasse – edged clear by just 0.086s.

Bottas, behind on track, had already aborted his final push lap after a moment through Portier, and believes his preparation was far from ideal.

“The issue for me was the traffic on the out lap,” said Bottas.

“There were a couple of cars that I was stuck behind and I had to pass, so I went off the line, so when you can’t go as fast as you want you cannot get temperature into the tyres and that’s really critical.

“Already in Turn 1 I felt the tyres weren’t there and I was going slower and slower on the following corners, until I had a big snap coming out of Turn 8 and that was it.

“I saw on the big screens, passing the Swimming Pool, Lewis had managed to improve his time, so I knew that was game over. That was the end of the game.”

As a result Bottas will line up behind team-mate Hamilton on the grid.

“You always aim for a good start but here there’s a super-short distance from the start to the first corner, so there aren’t many opportunities,” he said.

“Obviously the aim is to do a good start and, as a team, we want to be 1-2 again and for me it’s going to be about waiting for opportunities in the race.”