Valtteri Bottas: “I was just lacking that extra bit of pace”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas felt it was the final sector at the Circuit of The Americas that cost him the majority of his lap time deficit to team-mate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday, with the Finn qualifying third on the grid for the United States Grand Prix.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer was closer to Hamilton in the first and second sectors, but ended up 0.460 seconds back when it came to the end of the lap, which meant he ended up behind Sebastian Vettel on the grid as well.

“It was quite a tricky session; each lap was different because of the wind,” said Bottas. “Otherwise, it was a pretty straightforward day.

“We’ve made quite a few set-up changes over the weekend as we work to make the car quicker. There were no big mistakes; I was just lacking that extra bit of pace. I was losing most of the time in the last sector, but that’s not a big surprise as that’s where the slow-speed corners and technical sections are.”

Despite this, Bottas feels confident of a strong race, with his long run pace during Free Practice showing good promise, with the Finn looking for his first win since the Austrian Grand Prix in July.

“However, anything is still possible tomorrow,” said Bottas. “Our race pace looked promising, so it should be a good fight.

“Three teams can win tomorrow, so we really need to give it everything we’ve got.”