Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he and the team knew that the United States Grand Prix held at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday was going to be “difficult”.
The Finn started in third position, while his British team-mate and Championship leader Lewis Hamilton started on pole. Due to strategy not working as planned, Hamilton ended up finishing the race in third, with Bottas fifth.
He knew that they would struggle to hold off their Championship rivals, the Italian Scuderia Ferrari team.
“We knew going in to the race that it was going to be a difficult afternoon. The Ferrari looked very quick yesterday and there were a lot of question marks because of the limited running in the dry, so making predictions on the set-up and the tyres was very tricky,” said Bottas.
Bottas said that for some reason unbeknown reason to the team, the one-stop which they had planned for both cars was not as effective as they had hoped.
“We didn’t quite have the pace that we were hoping for, especially on the Soft tyres. We had planned for a one-stop race and that’s what we did, but in hindsight the second stint was just a bit too long.”
He added: “My tyres started to go three or four laps before Sebastian [Vettel] overtook me and they were just completely gone in the end, that’s why he managed to build such a big gap in only a few laps.”
Even though the race did not go as they had initially hoped, Bottas said that the team are now looking to the next race of the season in Mexico, and to turn the tables.
“We will now do our usual work of analysing and understanding why we weren’t quicker today, so we can come back stronger and hopefully win in Mexico. There’s only three races left in the season and the fight is far from over, so we will give it everything to get the best results possible.”