Bottas: Repeating last year is the goal

Date published: November 23 2018

Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he is aiming to repeat last year’s Abu Dhabi race to claim his first win of the 2018 season.

The Finn is yet to win a race this year, but has arguably had four race victories taken away from him in different circumstances.

China (Safety Car), Baku (puncture), Great Britain (strategy) and Russia (team orders) could all have been wins for the Mercedes man.

However, he won in Abu Dhabi in 2017, and was at the top of the timesheet at the end of FP2 on Friday afternoon.

“Practice 2 did feel good, Practice 1 not so good,” Bottas admitted.

“I think it is quite usual here that while the track is still a bit green and it is a lot hotter during the day than it is in the evenings.

“I am glad that the car worked in the evening session because that is the only session that mattered for the weekend.”

He mentioned that FP1 and FP3 were essentially duds when it comes to set-up at Yas Marina, as the temperatures are much higher than in qualifying and the race.

Despite that, he did say that the sessions were not meaningless, but you had to be careful.

“You can get your eye in [in FP1] and then FP3 is a great chance to get confused,” he added.

“If we make setup changes now then it is very difficult to try it out in FP3 as we need to anticipate for the evening session.

“We definitely learnt a lot from the evening session, from the long runs and short runs.

“There are plenty of things we are going to adjust but only for the evening, not for the day.”

The Finn also admitted that he just needs to stay confident and that he has just one target for the weekend.

“For me, I need to keep the confidence,” Bottas added.

“The car felt really nice in FP2 in terms of I could really trust it and drive it the way I want so we need to try and make those right setup changes and we will see.

“I will try to repeat last year, that is the only goal for this weekend.

“Nothing has been done yet, there is plenty of work yet to do but that is the target.”

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