Formula 1

Bottas Happy With Mercedes “Starting Point” For The Weekend

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Valtteri Bottas - Japanese Grand Prix - F1
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas feels his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team are at a “good starting point” ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Finn was second fastest in both Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 and was happy with how the car has been this weekend so far.

“It’s always good fun in Suzuka, this is such an enjoyable track to drive.

“The car also felt quite good, although for me it was better in FP1 than in FP2.

“We have a full night ahead to investigate all the changes we made and find the right set-up.

“But overall the car felt pretty good throughout all sectors, I just had some balance issues, struggling a bit with understeer.”

Despite Mercedes having a one-two in both sessions at the Suzuka International Racing Course, Bottas feels qualifying will be a lot closer and that the weather can have a major impact on the result.

“Overall it’s a good starting point for the weekend, but it’s hard to say where we stand in relation to the others.

“It always gets more intense in Qualifying, so we’re going to work just as hard as usual to find all the improvements we can.

“The weather is likely to change tomorrow, so it was good for everyone that we had a dry Friday because it’s supposed to be dry on Sunday as well.

“It’s also going to be a lot warmer in the race, so that will be different, but at least we got enough running already in dry conditions, so it doesn’t matter if it’s wet tomorrow.”

Suzuka is one of the drivers favourite tracks and Bottas explains that it is due to how much on the edge you are with one mistake having big consequences.

“Even in the dry it’s very easy to make mistakes on this track; one small mistake and you’re off.

“In the wet, it’s ten times more difficult; Suzuka is one of the most challenging tracks in the wet.

“The track becomes much more unpredictable, especially when it rains hard or if there is standing water.

“So if Qualifying is wet tomorrow, it should be very interesting.”

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A journalism student from Scotland. Covering Formula 1 for The Checkered Flag.
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