Valtteri Bottas: “I should be able to keep Max Verstappen behind”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas says Max Verstappen “will try everything he can” at Turkish Grand Prix start, but he believes he “should be able to keep him behind”.

Valtteri Bottas is starting the Turkish Grand Prix from pole, after Lewis Hamilton got handed an engine related ten-place grid penalty.

However, right behind Bottas is Hamilton’s title rival Max Verstappen, so it is key for the championship that Bottas doesn’t get overtaken by the Dutchman.

The Finn believes Verstappen will throw everything at him at race start.

“I’m sure Max will try everything he can,” Bottas said.

“For sure, for me, there’s not that much to lose. Of course I can try to defend hard if there’s a situation, but I’ll look forward to it.”

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He also added he believes he will be able to fight off the Dutch driver.

“As long as I don’t do mistakes I should be able to keep him behind, hopefully. It’s a good result. With the situation, with Lewis’ penalty, it’s the best we could do as a team.

“Very happy to be starting in first place tomorrow and it gives me a great opportunity to fight for the race win.

“The start is always a risk but I think we have a pretty good race car, then obviously strategy will always play a part.

“At the moment, I’m feeling confident in the car and I think the pace is good, so I think I just really need to focus on my own race step by step,” concluded Bottas.

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