Valtteri Bottas says any changes he’s made to his Mercedes car set-up makes it “better to drive but slower” as his struggles for performance continued at the United States Grand Prix.

The Finnish driver faded badly during the final stages of the US race due to tyre wear woes having lost rubber life while battling for position with Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari which saw him tumble to fifth place at the chequered flag.

Despite helping Mercedes secure a fourth consecutive F1 world constructors’ championship in Austin, Bottas admitted to mixed feelings as his set-up woes continued.

“In the high-speed corners the car was feeling very good, very stable but in the slow speed I really struggled,” Bottas said. “Especially in the second stint with the rear end, the same issues I’ve been struggling before, a bit of overheating issues, so the set-up is still not as I want it.

“We can change the set-up to be better balanced and better to drive, but then it’s slower. We need to make a compromise and that’s something I found more difficult this year.”

While Bottas was mathematically ruled out of F1 title contention after the US race, the Finn also lost ground on Sebastian Vettel for second place in the drivers’ championship with the German driver finishing second. Bottas now trails Vettel by 21 points with three races remaining.



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