Bottas says Red Bull’s soft tyres “will start degrading pretty quickly”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas managed to qualify only in P6 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he hopes Mercedes’ medium tyres will provide an advantage over Red Bull’ softs.

Valtteri Bottas didn’t have a good Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying, he only managed to get P6. The Finn explains what went wrong.

“In Q2, I think I did my best laptime and I could never improve that,” Bottas said.

“It felt like the more I tried, it felt like the set-up didn’t have any more in it. I went for a quite soft set-up mechanically and I feel it’s really good for the race.

“And I was hoping it should still be OK for the quali, but the grip was improving quite a lot, so that’s one thing.

“We had to change to an older PU for today, which I knew that it was, compared to yesterday, at least two tenths.”

Red Bull managed to help Max Verstappen get pole by sacrificing Sergio Perez’s lap in order for the Mexican to provide Max with a tow.


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Bottas says such a strategy wasn’t discussed at Mercedes, because “normally it can go wrong, for at least one of the drivers”.

“We just focused on the out laps and being in a good rhythm. But, to be honest, Red Bull found a bit more in Q3 than we thought they would, so that was a bit of a surprise.

“We just tried to stick in the plan, but it worked for them today.”

Valtteri sees an opportunity tomorrow in the fact that both Mercedes will start the race on medium tyres, while Red Bulls will be on softs.

“We think it’s better for us. At least the first pit window is going to be quite a bit bigger so, if we want to or need to go long, that’s an opportunity.

“If you’re on the soft, they will start degrading pretty quickly,” the Finn concluded.

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