Valtteri Bottas has blamed his failure to improve on his final flying lap during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on having too cold tyres.

The Finn looked set to continue his streak of consecutive pole positions into four races after holding a 0.2s advantage over Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton after the opening runs of Q3.

But Hamilton turned in a last-gasp effort to snatch pole by just 0.086s, while Bottas was unable to improve his time after having his tyre preparation lap hindered by traffic.

“We are proud again of getting another one-two, it’s really impressive but my feeling at the moment is that I’m really disappointed with qualifying,” Bottas said.

“I really felt I had the speed today and felt really good in the car, all day. In the first run I felt there were still 0.2s or 0.3s I could improve, so I should have done a better job in the first one.

“On the second one I had quite a lot of traffic on the out lap, I had to off the line in a few places and then the tyres weren’t working at the start of the second lap.

“The issue for me was the traffic on the out lap,” he added. “There were a couple of cars that I was stuck behind and I had to pass off line, and you get quite a bit of dust on the tyres. If you cannot get temperature into the tyres on this track that’s really critical.

“Already at T1 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 - 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.”

Bottas has not lost hope of beating Hamilton to victory in Monte Carlo, but he acknowledges there will be limited chances to get ahead, highlighting the short run to Turn 1 as “an opportunity”.

“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 explained.

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



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