Bottas on top: 'Ideal way to start a weekend on new track'


While his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton was fretting about a lack of speed in Friday's practice sessions for the Qatar Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas couldn't have been happier about the way things had gone.

The Finn ended the day with the fastest lap at Losail International Circuit, clocking in at 1:23.148s which was two tenths quicker than AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly and the rest of the field.

Bottas acknowledged that he was delighted by the outcome.

"I would say that’s an ideal way to start a weekend on a new track," he said after the end of the twilight session.

"Today started nicely with the set-ups," he continued. "The balance was already pretty good in the first runs, [so] only minor tweaks [needed] to be done for FP2.

"The team did a really good job on the estimation of the set-up, and it’s not far off the sweet spot," he added.

“Obviously there’s always work to do, even driving-wise," he admitted. "In two sessions you cannot find all the speed that is available, so for sure we’ll keep on working.”

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W12. 19.11.2021 Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar

Bottas certainly isn't taking pole position in tomorrow's qualifying session for granted at this early stage in proceedings.

"It's hard to make conclusions from today," he said. "But at least, like I said, the feeling was okay and that's promising for the rest of the weekend.

"It was good practice, but it is [just] practice. We tried to learn as much as we could."

Bottas was one of a number of drivers to have some of his lap times deleted for track limits, and he suggested that this was going to be a major factor this weekend.

"Even in some of my fastest laps, I had confusion. I didn't know what was allowed and what wasn't," he said. "I'm sure it's gonna be a talking point in the drivers' meeting today

"It's just the nature of the track really and that's creating issues."

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