Valtteri Bottas was pleased with the strategy drawn up by his Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team for the Japanese Grand Prix, but rued the lack of time available to capitalise on it.
Bottas pitted late on in the Grand Prix for his mandatory pit stop – pulling in on lap thirty for a set of Supersoft Pirelli tyres, and the Finn was able to take advantage of his fresher tyres to attack Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo in the latter stages of the race, but ultimately had to be content with finishing fourth.
“It was a close fight; especially in the end I was getting closer to Daniel,” said Bottas, “but there just was not enough time anymore and the VSC didn’t help either.
“The pace seemed to be okay, but coming to this race we always knew that overtaking is tricky.
“The strategy was good for me today. It created a good opportunity in the end, otherwise it would have been really difficult to even get close.”
Bottas also played a part in Lewis Hamilton’s victory, allowing his team-mate through earlier in the race after the Brit had caught up following his pit-stop.
Having released Hamilton, Bottas also set to work on holding up the chasing Max Verstappen, who was aiming for his second consecutive F1 victory.
“We went through all of the scenarios before the race, so when Lewis caught up to me after his pit stop, of course I tried to help him win,” said Bottas.
“The race was close to our game plan, but it would have been nice to be on the podium. I’ve definitely learned a lot again from this weekend.”