Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes has discussed an incident which occurred between himself and Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton during Singapore Grand Prix qualifying to prevent it from happening again.

Bottas was initially ahead of Hamilton on-track as the pair prepared for their final runs of Q3 but the world championship leader shot past to overtake Bottas in the final sector.

The Finn claims the move from Hamilton, which was not the result of a team instruction, spoiled his preparation lap and ultimately effected his final flying effort as he wound up only fifth on the grid.

“In the first run there were lots of cars and all weekend we’ve been needing proper out laps to get the tyres switched on,” Bottas said.

“But we only got that in Q1 and also in Q2 it was pretty OK. But after that traffic always affected and the laps were quite messy.

“In the last run in Q3, that was not planned. I was slowing down because of the Red Bull ahead, trying to get a bit of a gap.

“I think Lewis didn’t know there was a car ahead of me, he thought I was just going slow for fun, but obviously it was incorrect. Then he got ahead, so I had to slow down again.

“We’ve discussed that internally, to make sure there are ways to make it never happen again, basically. But, no, it was not planned, for sure.”

Both Mercedes drivers had been struggling to extract maximum performance from their W10 challengers after encountering difficulties in getting their Pirelli tyres into the optimum operating window.

"I think we had the quickest out lap of all the teams, we needed that to get the tyres ready, especially the front tyres,” he explained.

“Ideally I would have had completely free air and we would have gone much quicker than what we were able to do.

“The only time we could do that was in Q1 and a little bit in Q2, but we were too much on the knife’s edge with the tyre temperatures.

“If you start the laps with the tyres too cold it’s quite easy to have snaps here and there. And then as you slide the tyres the grip is not there anymore.

“The difficult part is to get a good stagger between the front and the rear tyres,” he added.

“This year the maximum temperature Pirelli is allowing is lower than last year’s. even last year it was not easy to get the front tyres to work, but we could.

“Now with the lower blanket temperatures, for some reason, is more difficult for us to it.

“And this is one of the most difficult tyres to get the temperatures up, there are not that many fast corners in the out lap to get the temperature and the energy through the tyres and it is that front to rear balance that it’s the issue for us here.”



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