Valtteri Bottas says he doesn’t understand where the 0.5s gap to Lewis Hamilton came from in Formula 1 qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

As Bottas looks to get his F1 title bid back on track, the Finn struggled to match the performance of championship leader Hamilton, narrowly beating the Red Bull of Max Verstappen to second place by less than a tenth of a second.

Bottas has slipped to third in the drivers’ championship after a tricky run of races since winning the season-opener in Austria.

Reflecting on qualifying second in Belgium, Bottas said he doesn’t know why the gap to Hamilton was so big.

“Yes, Turn One was a bit inconsistent, but I think we got the car right there,” Bottas said. “It’s just that on the first run in Q3, I think the tyres were a bit too cold at the start of the lap, so I had a bit of a lock-up there, so that was it for the first run.

“The second run felt actually pretty good, overall, so I don’t know where’s the gap to Lewis. But I’m not too bothered, because I know second place is a good place to start here, it will be an interesting run into Turn Five.”

“Yes, of course, I need to attack if I still want to keep the title hopes there. Nothing is, obviously, over until it’s over and I’m going to go for it.

With the run down the Kemmel Straight into Les Combes a great overtaking opportunity, Bottas is hopeful he can make a move on Hamilton tomorrow on the opening lap.

“The first lap is always a great opportunity, but here racing is always great so, at least, I know already there will be plenty of opportunities to do it.”