Valtteri Bottas was pleased with how Friday went at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve despite finishing fifth and sixth in the two sessions.
The Finnish driver did not use the hypersoft at all on Friday and says that is the reason his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport was slower than the Scuderia Ferrari’s and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s.
“It was a good day here in Montreal even though it may not look that strong on the time sheets for us,” said Bottas. “Ferrari and Red Bull were running the HyperSoft tyres which we will only start using tomorrow so that’s why our times didn’t look that good today.
“So we should be there or thereabouts.”
Mercedes have delayed bringing their engine upgrade and Bottas thinks that will make it close in qualifying.
“Of course our competitors have a bit of an advantage with the new engines, but I think it will be a close qualifying tomorrow,” said the Finn. “The track was very dirty today, as soon you go off the line you lose a lot of grip for the next half a lap or so.
“So we need to be very precise when we drive around the track, especially through the chicanes.”
The hypersoft tyres caused Mercedes problems in Monaco but Bottas feels they have learned their lessons and is optimistic about their chances this weekend.
“I think we’ve learned a thing or two from Monaco about the HyperSofts, so hopefully we can make them work tomorrow,” he said. “The balance of the car was really good from the start today, so we only had to do some fine tuning.
“The car felt good straight out of the garage. Tomorrow we will find out how good it is.”