Valtteri Bottas says his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport was “enjoyable to drive” as he qualified second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Finn was three tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pole time and praised the achievement of his team-mate.
“First of all I want to say congratulations to Lewis – 80 pole positions, that’s a big number and he deserves a lot of respect for that.
“The cars have been so quick today as they have been all weekend and it was enjoyable to drive in Qualifying.”
Bottas struggled in Free Practice 3 but got it together in qualifying and felt sectors 2 and 3 cost him pole position.
“I struggled a lot in FP3, the car didn’t feel stable at all and I was struggling to find confidence.
“It got better in Qualifying and by Q2 it felt pretty good.
“Everything came down to one lap in Q3, I missed a little bit in sector 2 and 3, but I enjoyed it.”
The rain created a bit of chaos for all the teams going into the final part of qualifying and Bottas feels Mercedes should be proud of how they dealt with the situation.
“Everyone in our team should be really proud of what we achieved today, of the car that we have and of how the team worked today – every single decision was right, everyone was calm.
“It might have looked like a hectic session from the outside, but inside the team everything was so calm, we just stuck to our plan and made the right choices which ultimately produced this result.”