Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas predicts a close fight with Scuderia Ferrari at this weekend’s 2018 Chinese Grand Prix following a closely fought practice session.
Bottas finished Friday’s second practice in third place, just thirty-three thousandths-of-a-second behind his pace-setting team-mate Lewis Hamilton with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen splitting the Mercedes pair.
“Overall, we got some good running and plenty of information, so I’m feeling all set for tomorrow,” said Bottas. “It looks like it will be extremely close again with Ferrari, both in qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday.”
Bottas though, remains wary of rain that is expected to hit the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday night and wash away the rubber laid down in the day’s practice sessions.
“It’s good that the rain didn’t come until the end of the session because the race is expected to be dry. The track improved a lot over the course of the day, even during the sessions.
“Lap after lap you could just feel more and more grip but that’s quite usual for this track. We’re expecting tomorrow morning to be a little bit trickier after the rain, and hopefully the conditions will improve for qualifying.
“We had some issues with the balance in the morning; the car was quick, but it wasn’t easy to drive. We changed the set-up for FP2 and saw the lap times improve; hopefully we can make another step forward for tomorrow.”