With neither of the front row positions going to Mercedes during yesterday afternoon's qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas said he believes rival teams Red Bull and Ferrari were just simply better than them in the session.
Bottas spoke about his own struggles on which he only managed to qualify in fifth place, but will start the race in fourth position thanks to a ten place grid penalty for fourth placed Charles Leclerc.
"Turn 1 this morning was tricky and it made me abort many laps," Bottas explained. "It also cost me a bit of track time. For sure I was a little on the back foot going into qualifying cause of small tweaks on the set up trying to sort out what was better.
"In qualifying it was just building up into it and it was starting to actually feel good. There was no massive issues with the car and the session was quite straightforward. In Q3 the first run felt pretty decent.
Despite the poor result in qualifying, Bottas said that he feels he got the maximum he could out of the car, and that it was not possible for either him or teammate Lewis Hamilton to be able to take more out of the car during the session.
"It was just one corner where I lost time on the entry to turn nine," Bottas said. "Apart from that I got pretty much everything from the car. In the second run I tried a bit more but I was sliding quite a lot so I knew I couldn't get any more out of it.
"Lewis had a better run, but apart from that I think we just didn't have the car to be on the front row today, but we will just have to see what we can do for the race."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing