Valtteri Bottas blamed his lack of pace in the Malaysian Grand Prix on balance and tyre temperatures, saying that the team need to spend some time analysing he race before the Japanese Grand Prix next week.
Bottas started from fifth position on the grid, though was the fourth car on the grid due to Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen failing to make the start. As with qualifying he struggled for pace, and finished in fifth – getting overtaken by Sebastian Vettel, who started from last.
“Today was difficult. I was trying everything I can, I was giving it all I had, but I was lacking pace and I was sliding around. The start was definitely the best part of the day. It was really good, I could actually attack a little bit and fight for positions.
“But not long after that I just started to drop down and couldn’t keep up with the others. In the first stint I had quite a lot of understeer, so I was struggling with the balance.”
The Malaysian Grand Prix is one of the hottest on the calendar, and as such tyre temperatures can be an issue. Whilst increasing tyre temperatures were a problem for both Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers, they seemed to affect Bottas’ car more – resulting in a loss of pace and a loss of position.
“The story of the race was managing the tyre temperatures. If I tried harder, then I started to overheat the tyre and slide even more, so I had to manage everything and that’s why I was so slow.
“We need to analyse the race because the upgrade package should have been quite a step forward in terms of downforce, but I couldn’t really see it. There are still a lot of things we need to try to understand, we need to learn from today.
“For Japan, we need to make sure we choose all the right bits for the car, and hopefully we will see some cooler temperatures.”