Valtteri Bottas: 'No massive things' to explain deficit to Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas has stressed that there are “no massive things” to explain his deficit to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Q3 at the French Grand Prix.

Bottas led the way through Q1 and Q2 as he searched for his first pole position since May’s Spanish Grand Prix.

But in Q3 he trailed Hamilton after the first runs and a scruffy second effort from the Finn effectively sealed top spot for the Briton, who improved on his final lap.

“I think the car was behaving well,” said Bottas.

“All weekend I felt really good in the car, in a happy place. But, obviously, I knew it was going to be close in qualifying, as it has been all weekend.

“I think, in the end, ultimately Lewis managed to get some better laps and deserves to be on pole.

“From my side in Q3 I felt my first lap was OK, but the wind direction changed throughout qualifying.

“In Turns 8 and 9 I’ve been struggling a bit all weekend; at some point, I found some good lines there but then they didn’t work when the wind direction changed. It’s just details here and there, there are no massive things.

“In the second run, I was just a bit unlucky with no cars ahead, so I had no tow at all, so I was losing time in all the straights.

“So, I had to make the most out of the last corners to catch up and kind of lost it there.

“It’s unfortunate because I was hoping to be on pole, but second is a good place, as there’s a long run into Turn 1.”

Bottas enters the French Grand Prix 29 points down on Hamilton in the championship fight.