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F1 European GP: ‘Williams just missing pace in Baku’ - Bottas

Valtteri Bottas admits Williams just weren't quick enough in Sunday's European Grand Prix and that was why he could do no better than sixth.
Valtteri Bottas admits Williams just weren't quick enough in Sunday's European Grand Prix and that was why he could do no better than sixth.

Bottas did make some headway in the inaugural race in Baku, given he started eighth, but despite running as high as third at one point, he never looked on for a podium, slipping to ninth after his pit stop on 19, before then recovering to finish P6 and claim eight points, his seventh top-ten of the year.

“We definitively hoped to have better pace but we simply didn't,” said Bottas, who was third last time out in Canada.

“I'm glad we were able to make the one-stop strategy work, because it was definitively the best strategy to be on, but unfortunately we weren't quick enough. Still, we gained some good points and the team did a good job.”

Asked if sixth was good enough, he replied: “Not enough, no, but it was the most we could get, for sure. We were just missing pace, as I said before, [and] the speed we expected to have wasn't quite there but the team did a very good job with what we had: strategy, pit stop and tyre management. But we obviously need to make a better car now and get better pace.”

Pressed on what was lacking, he added: “Grip in the corners! We've been really quick down the straights, which helped me to get some cars at the start, making up a couple of important positions right there.

“But we were just missing grip on the corners.”

Meanwhile, Bottas said he had no issues with the tyres during the 51-lap race: “I was happy with the balance, I didn't have any graining in the tyres, I was able to push the car to the limit it has, but we still don't have enough grip in the corners. This track has many, many corners, even if it has long straights, so we lost out there. We were definitively hoping for more, we thought we would be able to challenge like in Canada, so we need to have a good look at what happened to us.”

Looking to the next race in Austria, one that has been good to him and Williams in recent years, Bottas said he is hopeful the pace will be better at the Red Bull Ring.

“I hope so, the track has been very good for us, back in 2014 we got a 1-2 in qualifying [and I finished third], so it's a track that certainly has suited our cars and it should do again this year, so I'm looking forward to it."
by Rob Wilkins



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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