Bottas qualified for the Abu Dhabi in P2, a place he held throughout the entirety of the race, with no chance of even attacking the Dutch driver.
“For sure I tried everything I could,” said the Finn.
“I noticed pretty early on in the first stint that Max and Red Bull had more pace. The first stint was quite understeery for me, it was a short stint but I felt that was a bit of a limitation.
“We made a small adjustment on the front flat for the second stint and that felt, actually, balance-wise, not bad but not just quick enough.
“For sure it was a surprise, we expected the race pace to be pretty much identical, but it wasn’t the case today.”
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Bottas believes Mercedes’ inability to come close to the Red Bull will motivate the team in the coming months.
“I’ve had much worse races this year so, you know, in this kind of season this was one of the good ones for me, but at least it was nice and clean, the start was good and everything.
“It could have been a worse way to end the season and, actually if we think about the big picture, knowing this team, being beaten by Red Bull in the last race of the season, for sure it motivates us even more to work over the winter, for next year, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Ultimately, Bottas’ second place finish secured his P2 in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
“You know, as a driver, when you are in the best team overall this season, being second you cannot be that satisfied.
“But it is something to be able to contribute to the team this season, to the fourth constructors’ title for me, seventh in a row for us.
“It’s better than being third, for sure, I guess I’ll get a small trophy to take home next week, so when I’m old and grey I can look at this season and say, ‘yes, I was second’.
“Hopefully, I’ll get a bigger trophy one day,” concluded the Finn.