Valtteri Bottas has said it is crucial he “peaks” in Q3 for the Monaco Grand Prix, believing the win is unreachable if he does not take pole.
Bottas missed out on the Monaco pole by just 0.086 seconds in 2019, the last time the race was held, meaning it was difficult to get ahead, which he did not, eventually ending up third. Bottas is reasonably good in qualifying, if he can take pole in Monaco he will equal the record for most poles without a world title, currently held by Rene Arnoux with 18.
Bottas has said he needs to make Q3 the best session it can be, as overtaking is so hard in Monaco, it makes winning near-impossible.
“In 2019, I missed the pole by less than a tenth and it was all in the last corner,” Botas said.
“In the last corner I had a bit of understeer and went too wide on the curb and then I upshifted and had wheelspin on the curb and the shift got downgraded and it was so annoying. I knew that after that, winning the race… I made it not impossible but nearly.”
“It’s going to be close, we don’t know the gaps between us and Red Bull, but I believe as a team we have a package we can fight for the pole and then for the win so it’s all going to be about those fine details, and I look forward to it,” Bottas added.
Mercedes have only won once in Monaco since the 2017 rules change, with the 2019 event only narrowly going to Lewis Hamilton after a fight with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.