Bottas sees race potential after blistering issues in F1 Sprint Qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas believes the blistering issues many drivers had during Sprint Qualifying means "anything can happen" at the British Grand Prix.

The Finn started and finished third in the first-ever Formula 1 Sprint event at Silverstone, as a gamble to use soft tyres in a bid to attack Max Verstappen failed.

However, by the end of the 17 laps of near flat-out action, all the leading trio were having to manage as the fast pace saw the Pirelli rubber literally exploding off the tyres.

"We tried to do something different and obviously, the target was to try and get him [Verstappen] at the start or on the first lap. It didn't happen," Bottas said of the soft tyre call.

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"I think he had a good start as well. In Turn 1 (Abbey) I was slightly blocked so I couldn't really use the momentum but we tried and in the end, I still managed to keep the place with the soft tyre even though there was some blistering."

While the pace is likely to be slower on Sunday, over triple the distance of the Sprint Qualifying race, Bottas does expect to see some problems.

"I think today shows that tomorrow is not going to be easy and if it is going to be a bit warmer then we might see more issues so at least now we are aware and tomorrow anything can happen," he added.

Of course, such blisters have led to punctures previously, with both Bottas and Lewis Hamilton suffering failures in the closing laps last year.

But that wasn't on the mind of team boss Toto Wolff, who instead sees an opportunity to challenge Verstappen in the Grand Prix.

“When you lose the race starting from pole that’s annoying, but we have pace, that’s the good news," the Austrian said of Hamilton.

"If Lewis runs in front it would be the same kind of race, so we just need to take it on the chin and do it well tomorrow.

“We’ve changed a little bit how we approach it. We had a good half first lap, and I think with DRS we can overtake.

"It’s just today when you can really push flat-out, which he did, it is very difficult to come close, but in the race, you need to manage a little bit more.”

 

         

 

 

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