Valtteri Bottas Competing slowly since the penalty shootout: The Finnish Mercedes driver at the US Grand Prix will now have to start from behind for the third time in the last four races, his time result allows.
Mercedes, which leads the world championship, has decided to replace Bottas’ supplier before the first free practice, which will result in five valid starting penalties.
“Unfortunately, I will be penalized again, but the rate will be lower than before. The Finn, who finished his first free practice in the lead, said, with starting five places back, you can still do a good race.
“Recognizing the penalty, we focused primarily on the pace of the competition, especially in the second free practice. We will have a lot to do with the settings. The track is not easy, in a lot of places it is as if the traction is going down and the balance is changing.”
“It is much warmer now than when we last visited here. I think the aging of the asphalt leads to less stickiness.”
So Bottas will be able to anticipate Sunday’s US Grand Prix from sixth place at best. Although he said they focused mainly on the pace of the competition, the Finn could imagine closing the timer first.
“Our car was good, the field was tight on Friday. For the second free practice we were a bit lower compared to the others, but like I said, we factored in the longer stages mostly. It won’t be easy on Saturday.”
“We need to look at what could be the ideal strategy for the future. I will definitely fight battles with the other cars that I need to overtake if I want to stand on the podium or win,” said the Turkish Grand Prix winner.
Starting with Bottas’ penalty, the World Cup appears to have seen a number of ups and downs in the remaining races of the season in terms of reliability as well.
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