Valtteri Bottas at the post Italian GP Sprint Qualifying Press Conference

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Here is the transcript of the Post 2021 Italian Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying track interviews and press conference featuring Valtteri Bottas.


(Conducted by Davide Valsecchi) 

Q: Valtteri, extremely happy for you, wonderful race, great start, incredible pace. How is your feeling because you deserve it today?

Valtteri BOTTAS: Thank you. I feel good. It feels like it’s been a while since I finished first in a race. Unfortunately, I’m starting from the back tomorrow, but the speed is there so I will be fighting and I will be coming as high as I can tomorrow. But today, I enjoy. It was a very clean race and we had good pace and yeah, very good.

Q: You are doing a wonderful weekend. Tell me please about tomorrow. It’s so easy to overtake cars that are slower than you? Because today Hamilton struggled a bit. How is it going to be tomorrow?

VB: It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. When there is a train of cars with DRS it’s not easy but obviously strategy-wise we still have free choice of tyre at the start so let’s see if we can do something. I will give it all I have, I can promise that.

Q: And are you enjoying this medal, because that was the Olympic champion?

VB: Yes, very nice. Very cool.

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Q: Well done Valtteri, that seemed to be the perfect Sprint for you?

VB: Yeah it was good, a good sprint. Everything went smoothly. I had a good start and that was of course the first important thing in the sprint. A good start and the car was very consistent throughout that sprint qualifying race thing. I didn’t really do any mistakes. I knew Max was trying hard behind. The gap was pretty consistent. I was just pushing flat out really and at the same time avoiding mistakes. No dramas.

Q: One potentially nervous moment might have been the re-start after the Safety Car, but you managed that well.

VB: Yeah, the re-start can be a bit risky here being in the lead, it’s a long main straight but luckily I had quite a good jump through the last corner and all through the straight and I could hold the gap.

Q: Is there a tinge of frustration knowing that you will start from the back tomorrow owing to the grid penalties associated with the change of the power unit.

VB: What can I say! It’s been a perfect weekend so far and then I have a grid penalty. But that happens. But it’s good to see that we have a strong car and we have good pace, so I’ll be fighting tomorrow to come as high as I can tomorrow.

Q: What do you think you can do tomorrow?

VB: Podium is possible. Anything is possible, to be honest, if you look at the race last year, what happened. You never know. I’ll keep pushing.


Q: (Edd Straw – The Race) Valtteri, obviously you’ve done a great job the last couple of days. You’ve effectively taken pole position twice, yet obviously the record books won’t reflect it. You can take personal satisfaction, but how irritating is it that there’s almost no recognition in the record books of what you’ve done over the past two days and you’ll always have that pole position or qualifying win, if you like, missing from your statistics?

VB: For sure it’s annoying, you know, having done a good last two days and good performance and then you kind of reset completely for the day after and start from the back, but those things are out of my hands so I’m not going to waste too much energy or be too negative about it because there’s nothing, absolutely I can do about it and the only thing I can do is try my best and go full gas tomorrow but at least I got three points. Every point counts for me personally and for us as a team.

Q: Points… and a medal!

VB: And a beautiful medal, yes!

Q: (Christian Nimmervoll – How seriously did you consider the soft tyre today?

VB: Considered, yes, for sure but yeah, obviously ended up with the medium but it wasn’t an easy decision.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) Valtteri, the talk after yesterday’s qualifying was all about team orders and how you would likely have to give the win to Lewis today. Obviously that didn’t happen. Just how were you feeling about that, before the start and obviously as the race progressed?

VB:  It would not have been the first time for me, obviously and the situation with the championship, for us… In an ideal world we would have both got a good start. Possibly we would have swapped positions if it was safe, for obvious reasons, but yeah, Lewis had a bad start and that of course is not great for him, not great for us as a team in terms of points but that gave me an opportunity to win the sprint which is obviously, for me personally, is nice that I could race.


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