Bottas disappointed with Williams pace

© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas admits he was disappointed with the race pace shown by Williams during the Japanese Grand Prix.

After a strong qualifying performance, Bottas lined up third on the grid ahead of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari and directly behind the two Mercedes drivers. With Lewis Hamilton pushing Nico Rosberg wide at Turn 2, Bottas was able to get ahead of one Mercedes but had dropped behind Vettel.

Bottas then struggled on the medium tyre and was then easily overtaken by Rosberg - running the hard compound - before Kimi Raikkonen jumped him in the second round of pit stops to relegate him to fifth place.

"Not a perfect day for us, but we will take the ten points," Bottas said. "I was hoping for a podium, but the pace wasn’t as good as we had expected. Defending from the quicker cars was hard and I think we should have pitted earlier for the final stop, but it’s always easier to say that after the race."

Head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley agreed Williams had got the timing of Bottas' final stop wrong.

"It was a tough race for the team today," Smedley said. "Unfortunately I don’t think we showed the pace we were hoping for.

"Valtteri had a good position at the start and was driving very well. Our call on the first stop was the right one and kept us in front of Rosberg, but our second stop was too late and so we lost the position to Raikkonen. We have further solidified our third place in the championship but leave Suzuka with the knowledge that we could have achieved more."

RACE REPORT: Hamilton eases to dominant Suzuka victory

AS IT HAPPENED: Japanese Grand Prix

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