Valtteri Bottas: “Not a perfect day for us”

Valtteri Bottas was disappointed to not be able to challenge for a podium in Japan, and felt in hindsight that an earlier pit stop could have kept himself ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in fourth.

The Williams Martini Racing driver was running third early in the race but lost out to Nico Rosberg on track and Raikkonen during the pit stops to finish fifth, and admitted defending from quicker cars was hard.

“Not a perfect day for us, but we will take the ten points,” said Bottas. “I was hoping for a podium, but the pace wasn’t as good as we had expected.

“Defending from the quicker cars was hard and I think we should have pitted earlier for the final stop, but it’s always easier to say that after the race.”

Team-mate Felipe Massa’s opportunity for points was extinguished heading into the first corner when the Brazilian suffered a front puncture after a clash with the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, and the subsequent slow lap to the pits saw him lose a lap that he would not have the opportunity to gain back.

“A very tough day for me today right from the first lap,” said Massa. “I had a bad start and then had contact with Ricciardo and it took me a long time to get back to the pits. From there it was the end of the race barring any miracle.

“We have scored some decent points for the Constructors’ Championship with Valtteri’s fifth but I had the car to contribute a good haul of points as well. We have to regroup and get those points back at the next race.”