Valtteri Bottas says a brake issue on his Mercedes explains his 1.4s deficit to team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix.
Bottas claimed pole and the race win at the season opener in Austria last weekend, but was forced to settle for fourth place in extreme wet conditions.
Although the Finn lapped at a similar pace and, at times, even quicker than Hamilton in the early stages, by Q3 a glazed front brake had knocked his confidence and resulted in him falling to P4 behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
“It was not easy, I didn’t look to be fourth on the grid but obviously tricky conditions can bring different challenges,” Bottas told Sky Sports F1.
“For me personally I don’t think I managed to build enough temperature in the tyres, part of the reason was my front-right brake was glazing throughout the qualifying so I couldn’t really maximise the potential of the car under braking, which is really important for the confidence in the wet conditions.
“It made it quite tricky and it’s for sure disappointing.”
The championship leader admits he’s unsure if the team can fix the problem for Sunday’s race, which is expected to be dry, but is nevertheless confident the pace shown from the W11 the week before can be replicated.
“I really hope so, it would be nice to go flat out but it’s something we’re only going to find out tomorrow because we haven’t done a race distance obviously in practice, but we know the car is quick so looking forward to it.”