Bottas looked set to claim his second pole in a row at Portimao having held provisional pole during the late Q3 shootout, but was ultimately pipped by 0.102s after Hamilton turned in a last-gasp improvement.
Mercedes has taken all 12 pole positions on offer so far this season but Bottas has only beaten Hamilton in qualifying on three occasions, and the Finn conceded the narrow nature of his defeats are becoming frustrating.
“It is annoying, it’s really annoying,” Bottas said.
“But practice sessions, being at the top, it doesn’t matter anyway. Always I try to reset from each session and focus on the coming one.
“Especially after the practice three, you need to reset and take all the learnings you can from the practice to do things even better.
“But knowing that you have the pace, yeah it’s annoying but that’s how it is and I need to quickly forget that. It’s only qualifying and the race is tomorrow and I know I will have the speed.”
Bottas was ultimately left to rue his choice to only set one timed-lap on Medium tyres at the end of Q3, with Hamilton’s decision to go for an extra lap proving pivotal as he found further time.
“The first decision was, obviously, with which tyre we go but based on what I felt in Q2, I felt the Medium was actually a tiny bit better than the Soft tyre over the whole timed lap and that’s why I went for the Medum,” he explained.
“After that, it was about doing one or two timed laps. Obviously the benefit of going for just one lap is that you fuel it just for one, if you go for two laps you have to fuel for two and that’s obviously, more weight.
“Based on what I felt in Q2, I had a good feeling with the tyres on the single lap, I went for it again in Q3. Unfortunately it was the wrong decision, but maybe the track temperature dropped slightly and I just couldn’t get the tyres to feel quite the same as they felt in Q2.
“And at the end of that lap I was just wishing I could have had one more lap, as I would then have the feel for it. Wrong call from my side, it’s annoying, for sure, but Lewis did a good job at the end.”
PORTUGUESE QUALIFYING BOTTAS MORE LAP PORTUGUESE QUALIFYING BOTTAS MORE LAP
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|