Australian Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas will start the Melbourne race from P15 after crashing his car during the Q3 session.
While teammate Lewis Hamilton claimed an emphatic pole position, the Finn was already back in the garage at the end of Q3. This was after an error on his first run in the final part of qualifying, resulting in Bottas losing the rear of the W09 through Turn 2 and hitting the outside wall.
“I think I was just pushing a bit too hard.” said a crestfallen Bottas afterwards.
“I went wide in Turn 1 and the kerb was still a bit damp. I lost the rear of the car and hit the wall outside of Turn 2. It’s very unfortunate and I feel sorry for the team because we have a really competitive car. It looked like it was damaged pretty badly, so I really hope we can fix it for the race.
Overtaking is difficult on this track, but we’ll try everything we can. Maybe it’s a little easier this year with the added DRS zone, we’ll find out tomorrow. We have a good car, so I’ll try to fight back the best I can. Once we get the car in the window, it seems like it’s really quick, so that’s something positive from today.”
The damage to the car resulted in Mercedes needing to fit a new gearbox to Bottas’ car, meaning that he will start from P15 for Sunday’s race.