Valtteri Bottas: “The car definitely feels better than a week ago”

by Rachel Hack

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas says that although the car felt much better today, than during the last round in Malaysia, he is still struggling to find grip on the super-soft tyre compound.

The Finn was happy with the feel of the W08 during the Free Practice 1 session on Friday, but believes there is still more performance and pace to find across the remainder of the Japanese Grand Prix race weekend.

“In practice one, the car did feel better than it did in Malaysia, but we still need to work on things to make the car quicker. As a starting point for the weekend, it definitely feels better than a week ago.”

In particular, the super-soft tyre compound is causing the Finn some issues, and so he will be working hard with his engineers to try to understand why that is.

Unfortunately, the limited running in Free Practice 2, due to rain, means the Mercedes driver will have to wait until the final practice session of the weekend to be able to fully evaluate any set-up changes.

“My run with the soft tyres was good, but with the super-soft, I didn’t really gain any grip. So the main thing for me is to understand the super-soft performance.

“We didn’t really run in FP2, so it’s a shame for the fans out there who were waiting to see us running.”

One plus point for Bottas was that his performance was much better over the long runs, so that is a positive for the Finn to take away ahead of tomorrow’s running.

“The long runs actually weren’t too bad, and hopefully we’ll see better weather tomorrow.”

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