Bottas rues qualifying but happy with ‘strong race’

Finley Crebolder
Bottas rues qualifying but happy with 'strong race'

Bottas rues qualifying but happy with 'strong race'

Valtteri Bottas has said he enjoyed the Mexican Grand Prix and is happy with his race-day performance following a disappointing qualifying.

The Finn crashed heavily at the final corner on his final run in Q3 yesterday, severely damaging his car and ending the session.

However, Mercedes managed to repair it without changing the gearbox or chassis, so Bottas didn’t pick up any grid penalties for the incident, instead starting in P6 and going on to finish on the final step of the podium.

“It feels good. It was a pretty disappointing day yesterday and considering where we started, it was a strong day,” Bottas told after the race.

“I think we really maximised the strategy with both cars today, and also from my side, it felt like a strong race, so actually I really enjoyed it.

“It’s just a shame there was no opportunity for any overtakes at the end, even with a good pace, but you pay the price for a bad qualifying.”

Bottas was running around a second behind Sebastian Vettel for most of the race but never quite got close enough to make a move.

“Once you get within 1.5 seconds, it’s so difficult to close in on those corners, especially in the last sector,” he added.

“To Ferrari, we would need to be so close to overtake them on the straight, so it was nearly impossible, but it could have been a lot worse.

“We had a better tyre life than we predicted. We thought it was going to be a two-stop at least, and it was an easy one-stop, so the tyre life was better. Maybe the warmer track temp today helped us.”

Bottas remained in title contention with his P3 finish but will head to Austin knowing his hopes will come to an end unless he wins the race and Hamilton finishes P9 or lower.

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