Valtteri Bottas has likened driving the final sector at the Sochi Autodrom to “rally-style driving” after struggling for grip in Formula 1 Friday practice.

Bottas may have struggled in the final sector - dropping nearly 0.5s to teammate Lewis Hamilton on his fastest effort in FP2 - but it was still enough to top the session as he excelled in the first two-thirds of the lap.

The Finn admits he has to sort his issues in the final sector of the lap if he is to beat Hamilton to pole in qualifying.


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“It seemed so, especially on the low fuel runs I always had some sort of problem with the rear end, so there’s something to look at there,” Bottas said. “It was more like rally-style driving than F1-style driving and I’m not sure that’s the fastest way around.

“As I said earlier there’s still a lot of time left on the table and, also, set-up wise, sector one and sector two feel pretty good, actually, but in sector three the car is still a bit too nervous and if we can get it right I’m sure there’s lap time there too.”

Bottas was forced to come into the pits prematurely midway through his race simulations in FP2 after reporting an issue over team radio.

He told his engineer over team radio: "There's something in the cockpit, there's something stuck to my left hand, we need to check the left side of the cockpit. Something is sticking to my hand so I can't turn right. Some tape or something but I don't know if it's something important."

The Finn explained the issue after the session: "There was some tape, sticker or something that when I was turning to the right was kind of limiting my elbow movement, so I had to box for that and got it sorted."