Valtteri Bottas admitted to feeling much better on track at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Friday than he did at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, and he proved that by setting the fastest time of the day.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer edged out team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.056 seconds in second practice in Italy, having found himself more than four-tenths of a second down on the Briton in the morning session.
However, Bottas revealed that an ill-chosen set-up in that first session saw him drop away from the pace, but the issue was rectified ahead of the second session that enabled him to set the pace.
“First of all it was nice that it stayed dry today because all the forecasts said that the rain could affect the running and we could have limited running before qualifying and the race in the dry,” said Bottas. “But we got our full plan done.
“In FP1 we were actually ahead of the plan because we were still worried about the weather. I think it was a good day – at least I have a better feeling than I had after the Friday in Spa, everything started on the right foot.
“Initially in FP1 we went slightly in the wrong direction with the set-up, but we managed to change it around for FP2 and the car felt a lot better. Overall, it was a positive day, the car is looking strong, but obviously it’s the next two days that count.”