Valtteri Bottas: “I was missing a bit of time in the last sector”

by Paul Hensby

Valtteri Bottas feels he needs to find some pace overnight in order to be competitive in this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after ending more than six-tenths off team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Friday’s second Free Practice session.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer admitted the first session, held in unrepresentative conditions compared to what drivers will face in both Qualifying and the race, was dedicated to testing components and set-ups aimed at the 2018 season, but the afternoon session was not as strong as he would have liked when he switched his attention to this weekend’s race.

Despite this, Bottas feels it was a positive day and evening at the Yas Marina Circuit, and should he find that extra time in the final sector, he should be able to have a competitive final Grand Prix of 2017.

“We dedicated the first practice session to testing for next year,” revealed Bottas. “We ran different kinds of mechanical and especially aero tests. So we didn’t learn that much for this weekend in FP1, but definitely a lot for next year.

“The second session was more straightforward. I was missing a bit of time in the last sector, so as a team we need to work on that.

“The temperatures here are ok; it’s definitely warm in the cockpit, but we’ve been to worse places. Overall, it’s been a pretty good day, we just need to find some more pace from my side for tomorrow.”

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