Valtteri Bottas admits he is annoyed to have missed out on a first Formula 1 pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix, after being pipped by Sebastian Vettel in qualifying. 

Bottas had trailed teammate Lewis Hamilton throughout practice in Canada and failed to make a top four appearance until qualifying, when a superb performance in Q3 saw him finish as the highest-placed Mercedes driver. He sat on provisional pole position in the early stages but was ultimately beaten to pole by just 0.093s. 

“It was close with Ferrari, it’s always annoying when it’s so close and you’re not ahead,” Bottas explained. “Anyway, I’m stating from the front row, it’s good for the race and I’m happy to go for tomorrow.

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“I think, seeing the lap times in the end, the time difference, they were a little bit quicker today. I felt I got almost everything out of the car on the first run. 

“I knew that there were still places where I could improve, but I had some understeer on the second run, I don’t know for what reason, but I don’t think we missed any positions in the second run.”

And Bottas believes Mercedes made good progress on the Hypersoft compound throughout qualifying, having run them for the first time during final practice on Saturday morning after the reigning world champions opted to bring just five sets of Pirelli’s fastest-ever F1 tyre to Montreal

“Today was the first time we used the Hypersofts and we made progress throughout the runs,” he said. “All the way preparing to do Q3 with it. Like Ferrari we’re starting the race with the Ultrasoft tyres, so let’s see what we can do with them.”

When asked if he felt he could have taken pole had Mercedes not been forced to delay the introduction of its upgraded power unit, Bottas replied: “Maybe! Obviously everything with the new engines, the numbers we have, they are just theory, but there would have been gains and I think it would have been a close fight for pole position with that engine. We’ll get it later, anyway, so it’s all good.”

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