Valtteri Bottas says the Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a tricky place to get right when wet, so it was positive that that the second free practice session on Friday was held in the dry.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver feels Scuderia Ferrari seem to have the early advantage this weekend, with Bottas finishing fourth fastest in that dry session behind both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen, as well as team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with the Finn almost seven-tenths of a second down on the fastest time of the session.
However, Bottas says the car feels better in the slow corners than it did last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps and he is not giving up on being able to take the fight to Ferrari across the remainder of the weekend.
“The conditions out there were quite mixed today with heavy rain in the morning and a dry afternoon,” said Bottas. “We did only one run in the morning on the Intermediate tyres; Monza is a tricky place in the wet as it is difficult to find the right braking points. We seemed competitive in the wet compared to the cars who were out in similar conditions.
“Luckily the afternoon was dry and we could get some proper running in; the long runs were especially important as the race is expected to be dry. As expected, Ferrari seemed very quick in the dry. It’s not going to be easy, but we still have a few things we can improve for qualifying.
“Compared to Spa, the car felt better in the slow corners which is a good step in the right direction.”
Bottas says it is important Mercedes get some good running in during final practice on Saturday morning regardless of the weather conditions as they need to do as much preparation as they can for Qualifying and the race.
“The weather forecast for tomorrow is not entirely conclusive, so we need to be prepared for everything and get a lot of running done in FP3 no matter if it’s wet or dry,” said the Finn.