Valtteri Bottas hopes the “many compromises” Mercedes has made to his strategy during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend will help him recover through the field in the race.

The Finn ended up second-fastest in qualifying, 0.194s slower than Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, though he will start from the back of the Yas Marina grid for power unit changes made following his failure last time out in Brazil.

Bottas said he and Mercedes has spent the entire weekend focusing on his strategy and set-up for the race, which he hopes will pay off on Sunday.

“For sure we tried to make a plan and the whole weekend we tried to optimise it for the race because the qualifying result today doesn’t really matter,” Bottas explained.

“Everything we’ve done with the tyre choices and all that was to optimise the car and strategy for the race.

“We did many compromises for the strategy and obviously the race is going to be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.

“The last lap was OK but still I felt Lewis was a little bit too quick,” he added when speaking about his qualifying performance.

“We’re on a slightly different set-up by the end of qualifying. Honestly I thought I was more comfortable with the car yesterday, overall, but for me I was trying to keep on my mind was for the race, because no matter what I would do today I will start last in the race with my penalty.

“I tried obviously as hard as I could. In Q2 I did just one run to save new tyres for the race, because the Softs will be needed.

“But Lewis did a very good job, congratulation for the 88th pole, that’s a big number, massive respect for that. I’m just looking focusing for tomorrow because it’s going to be a great battle.”

Asked if he feels a recovery drive to the podium is possible, Bottas replied: “Everything is always possible and there’s no point for me to set any limit for tomorrow.

“For sure we’ll have good fighting spirit and try to take every opportunity. For sure there will be some tomorrow for us.

“We’ve seen crazy races this year, just look back two weeks ago in Brazil. Anything is possible and I’m looking forward at taking those opportunities. The most important will be to have good fun in the car.”

 

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