Valtteri Bottas: “It is a lot better feeling than two weeks ago”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After Friday’s French Grand Prix free practice sessions, Valtteri Bottas says he feels Mercedes has “started the weekend on the right foot”.

Valtteri Bottas says he has more confidence in the car at the French Grand Prix, than he did in Baku where he finished in P12.

For this weekend Bottas and Hamilton swapped their chassis, but the Finn says it’s “hard to say” if the improved feeling in the car is due to the swap.

“It’s hard to say if its chassis or the track conditions, but it is a lot better feeling than two weeks ago, that’s for sure,” the Finn said.

“I feel we have started the weekend on the right foot. I feel everything is feeling quite OK, and I’ve been comfortable and pretty fast with the car so far.

“It’s different a track, but the balance is good, the tyres are working well and I’m confident with the car. I can trust the car, and I think that is the biggest difference.”

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With drivers struggling on C4 soft tyres during qualifying simulations, it’s thought that they will opt for C3 medium tyres in Q2, but Bottas doesn’t want to confirm it.

“Can’t reveal everything. Honestly my feeling was that between the medium and the soft tyre there wasn’t a big difference in terms of single lap performance.

“But in the long run the Medium is better, for sure. I would imagine that everyone would like to start with the mediums, because you can go further.

“But for that you need to be quick enough to get through in Q2.”

With Bottas taking P1 in FP1, and Vestappen taking P1 in FP2, everyone is expecting a close battle this weekend.

“I think it’s fairly close. We expected them to be strong but for now it feels like it’s between us and Red Bull, but it’s a very different track from Baku or Monaco, so we’ll see tomorrow.

“I’m sure they’ve got a lot more to come and so do we,” concluded the Finn.

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