Valtteri Bottas says he could have qualified higher than ninth had Mercedes opted for the intermediate tyres at the start of Q3 in F1 qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix.

Mercedes struggled for pace throughout the wet-affected qualifying session at Istanbul Park with Bottas qualifying ninth, while teammate Lewis Hamilton only managed sixth.

Bottas believes if Mercedes ran the intermediates - rather than the full wets - at the start of Q3, it would have given him a better chance of getting the tyres up to temperature and thus qualified higher on the grid.

“Yes, it was tricky,” Bottas said “I’m sure everyone say that and I think the main issue for us was that the decision in Q3 was not the right one, to go so late for Inters, as I couldn’t get the tyres to work and that made a difference of many, many seconds.

“I couldn’t keep the temperature or even create the temperature in the tyres – that’s been the story for us all weekend.”

When asked about how the tyres felt, Bottas replied: “I just couldn’t create temperature on the tyres, that was the main issue, just couldn’t get the tyres to work, especially with the Intermediate tyres, and they were not the right decision for me.

“When you cannot create temperature in the tyres they’re just like plastic, so it’s just like being on ice. If you can get the tyres to work, then you can gain many seconds per lap.”

Given the tough track conditions in Turkey, Bottas conceded that it was a 'mentally tiring' session because of the small margin for error.

“Yes, it’s very easy to go over the limit, and mentally it’s very tiring,” Bottas added. “You need to be super-concentrated all the time as one mistake ruins the session. At least I stayed on track for most of the session but, still, it wasn’t the greatest of qualifyings.”