Valtteri Bottas: “No, I wasn’t asked to slow down”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas says he wasn’t asked to slow down for Lewis Hamilton in his final Turkish Grand Prix Qualifying run.

Valtteri Bottas qualified in P2 for the Turkish Grand Prix, but he will start the race from pole, because Lewis Hamilton has to serve an engine related ten-place grid penalty.

After the session the Finn was asked if Mercedes had asked him to slow down in his final qualifying run, so that Hamilton could get P1.

“No, I wasn’t asked to slow down and I was definitely going for it,” Bottas said.

“I started to struggle a bit with the front end in the last sector, so I just had some understeer in Turn 12 and 14, so I could feel I was losing a bit of time. I probably used the tires a bit more earlier in the lap. So, I was fully going for it, for sure.

“It was a good session and, obviously, as a result for us as a team it’s the ideal and perfect in a way, with the situation we have and with Lewis’ penalty.

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“The session itself, Q1 was tricky with the conditions and, to be honest, even in the end of Q3 there were still a couple of spots where there were a few damp patches and you needed to be a bit cautious or find the best way around them.

“But I enjoyed it. Still the grip level was decent and from the start of the weekend the car has been in a pretty good window in terms of the setup, so we didn’t need to make massive changes.”

The Finn adds he will not be thinking about Hamilton’s race and instead he will focus on getting his first win of the season.

“I’ll focus on my own race tomorrow. I think that’s the best way to go when you start in front. Hopefully I can keep up my good pace.

“I’m very motivated. I haven’t won yet this season. This is a big motivation for me, but I need to focus on certain things in the race, step by step, keep the focus and hope for the best,” concluded Bottas.

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