Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas believes that the performance of the car during qualifying in Monaco is track specific.
Neither Bottas nor team-mate Zhou Guanyu made it to the third qualifying session on Saturday, with Zhou rooted to the bottom of the timing screens in P20.
Bottas ended up in P12 in Q2, meaning that, while points are possible on Sunday, the task has been made slightly more difficult after the Finn’s optimism ahead of the weekend that a podium may even be on the horizon.
However, Bottas now recognises that the C42 is not as quite as compatible with the Monaco circuit as he thought it might be.
“I feel like this result today is a bit of an outlier, I think the performance of the car should be better,” he said after qualifying.
“I think it’s track-related and in the opposite way that what I thought – I thought we were going to be great here, but it turns out not.
“Again, the next race [in Azerbaijan] is a street track again, but I think the car is still good, it just didn’t quite fit to this race today.”
The 10-time race winner was not helped by the fact that he missed the entirety of FP1 as a result of an MGU-K issue following Zhou’s reliability failure last weekend in Spain.
Despite that, he believes he was able to settle nicely into the weekend, so he feels that the time is being lost elsewhere.
“I actually felt like I got to a good rhythm, even though I missed the session,” added Bottas.
“I had a good day today to get a feel of the set up and the grip and everything. I felt like I was confident – I don’t think it was about that.
“I think it was just about us not being fast enough here, which is weird because I really thought we would be fast, but it’s something we need to understand.”
“It’s important to learn.
“My feeling is it’s something to do with the car mechanically, because I think that most of the time we’re losing is sector two with those warped corners and the ride doesn’t feel that great there.
“So it could be something linked to that.”
Only twice now this season has Bottas failed to make it into the third and final qualifying session.