RACE DEBRIEF

    After winning last week’s Austrian Grand Prix from pole position, Valtteri Bottas will start this week’s Styrian GP from fourth. And after qualifying he revealed that a brake issue caused by the wet weather hampered his hopes of making it consecutive poles at the Red Bull Ring.

    “It was not easy and I didn’t look to be fourth on the grid," he said. "Obviously, tricky conditions can bring new challenges. For me, personally, I don’t think I managed to build enough temperature in the tyres.

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    “Part of the reason was my front-right brake was glazing throughout the qualifying so I couldn’t really maximise the potential of the car under braking which is really important for the confidence in the wet conditions. So, made it quite tricky and that’s why, so yeah, disappointing,” he added.

    Glazing brakes occur when low temperatures cause the brake pads to skim the surface of the brake discs, rather than grip them and slow the car down effectively.

    Valtteri Bottas: Quick car means 'anything is still possible from fourth'

    In contrast, his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole and a full 1.2s ahead of fellow front-row starter Max Verstappen in a soaked Styrian Grand Prix qualifying session – that came on a day so wet that FP3 was eventually cancelled.

    That lack of running thrusts Bottas and the rest of the field into the unknown on Sunday, as the Finn has completed 67 laps in total in dry conditions on Friday, four fewer than the 71 laps of Sunday’s dry race. Fortunately for Bottas, he won the race last week so the potential of the W11 is clear at this circuit.

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    “It would be nice to go flat out but it’s something we’re going to find out tomorrow because we haven’t done a race distance, obviously, in practice. We know the car is quick so I’m looking forward to it,” he concluded.

    The Finn, hoping to add to his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship standings, starts alongside McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and ahead of third-row starters Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon for the second round of the season.