Valtteri Bottas: “We had some trouble setting up the car”

Valtteri Bottas finished third after Friday's free practice sessions, four-tenths of a second behind his team-mate. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas was left frustrated following a “tricky” Friday in the run up to the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix in which set-up issues and typical Spa-Francorchamps weather played a part.

Bottas trailed his team-mate Lewis Hamilton throughout both free practice sessions and was as low as sixth following the morning session, which included an off-track moment and a brush against the barriers as he attempted to get out of the way of one of the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team drivers.

Initially frustrated with set-up troubles, Bottas found more pace come second practice – finishing third behind Hamilton and Scuderia Ferrari‘s Kimi Raikkonen – but still believes there is plenty of room for improvement with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team‘s W08.

“Overall, it was a tricky day” said Bottas. “We had some trouble setting up the car and I didn’t feel too comfortable in the beginning. But in the end it was getting better, we made quite big steps.

“The performance of our car in general is looking good; however, there is still a lot of margin to optimise the car.

“The long runs in the end were interrupted by the rain, but that was obviously the same for everyone. I’m glad that we at least got a few laps in with high fuel.”