For much of the weekend, it had looked as if Bottas would start in the best possible way, with pole position.
Bottas needs to find a way to try to stop it at Paul Ricard on Sunday.
Bottas was not the only man who needed a good weekend in France.
Bottas: “Finally I have a car I was happy with in Q3 and that was my focus for this weekend but we need to confirm it at the next race.”
McLaren might “still have a long way to go to catch the top cars”, as Seidl puts it, but they are clearly very much back on the right track.