Valtteri Bottas believes the yellow flags caused by Esteban Ocon's spin at the end of Formula 1 qualifying cost him pole position for the Tuscan Grand Prix.

The Finn was the man to beat going into qualifying, topping all three practice sessions and setting the pace in Q1.

Lewis Hamilton seized the initiative in Q2 and led the way in Q3 after the first runs by just 0.059s.

Bottas’ chances of taking pole position were completely ruined after Ocon spun his Renault at Turn 5, forcing drivers to back off due to the yellow flags.

Team-mate Hamilton was ahead of the yellow flag zone but wasn't able to improve his time leaving Bottas sure without Ocon's spin, he had the pace to take his first pole position since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

“Definitely,” Bottas said when asked if the yellow flag cost him pole. “I still had more time in there and I was just waiting to get it all right. Run one was OK, but not perfect, so I was looking forward to it. I just didn’t get the opportunity and for sure it’s disappointing, because the speed has been good all weekend.”

Contrary to popular belief going into the weekend, Bottas believes there will be opportunities to overtake in Sunday’s race highlighted by the number of overtakes in the Formula 3 feature race on Saturday morning.

“Actually, coming into the weekend we thought it would be nearly impossible,” Bottas added. “But what we experienced in the practice sessions, the track is so wide and there are so many different lines you can take in the corners so you can kind of avoid the dirty air in those corners.

“Maybe, I hope so. Again, long run into Turn One and I hope the head wind stays for the race, because that would be a nice benefit for me, to get the tow.”

 

 

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