Valtteri Bottas says his retirement from the Brazilian Grand Prix and subsequent grid drop would have been “more painful” had he still been in Formula 1 title contention.

Bottas retired from the Interlagos after encountering a late power unit problem, which has resulted in him facing a back-of-the-grid start at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend after Mercedes fitted a new engine to his W10.

The Finn was beaten to the drivers’ crown by teammate Lewis Hamilton in the United States and has already secured runner-up spot in the championship.

“It’s a good thing that everything was already settled in the championship before Brazil, because if I had still been in the title fight, that failure and starting from the back this weekend would have obviously been more painful,” Bottas said.

“But everything is settled, so I take it, I know what will be the approach for Sunday, I need to make a good start and I’m sure we can still get a good performance starting from there.

Bottas said he has accepted the penalty and will not change his approach or mindset heading into the weekend.

“I still want to fight for pole position, it would be good fun, with a fresh engine as well,” he added.

“But definitely the main focus will be on the race preparation because I’m going to start from the back and we have to see what we can do with the set-up to prioritise the race pace and also the kind of work we’ll do in practice will be to maximise our speed in the race in this circuit and with the circumstances we have.

“My motivation is always high every time I jump into a race car. Knowing the facts before the weekend starts, I just accept the penalty and should just take the chance to do some good overtaking practice.”

 

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