Bottas ready to fight for points

© XPB 

It was disappointing session this afternoon in the Principality for Williams, and while Valtteri Bottas emerged as the team's best performer in qualifying, the Finn still has a huge piece of work cut out for him in tomorrow's race.

Both drivers progressed comfortably from Q1 to Q2 but a lack of speed and perhaps set-up kept either from really challenging for a spot in the top 10.

The fact that Williams' performance was better than what the team achieved last year in Monaco was but a small consolation, as is the fact that Botats will actually strat in P10 tomorrow thanks to Kimi Raikkonen's 10-place grid penalty.

"I think we’re in the middle, with mixed feelings," admitted Bottas.

"It’s positive because it’s a lot better than last year – remember I was out in Q1 last year and now we were close to get into Q3.

"We’ve made progress, obviously not enough, but at least it’s been a good step in the right direction. Still, it’s a little bit disappointing, but with Kimi’s penalty I’ll start from 10th and with free choice of tyres for the race, so it can be a good race for us. Here, you never know.

Following Thursday's day of work, the Finn had complained of excessive oversteer affecting the balance of his FW38. Eventually, the issue's effects were reduced as Bottas worked towards restoring his car's balance, but some instability remained.

"We made further changes for qualifying and that, together with the track improving, brought the balance more together and the car gave me the best feeling I’ve had all weekend in qualifying.

"I think we were very close to maximising the car in qualifying, after making big changes in the set-up, so I don’t think there was much more left in there.

"We just need to try and make the car quicker around corners and here there’s only corners, so that’s the problem."

With the entire field setting its sights on a one-stop strategy, except of the weather wreaks havoc on everyone's plans, any chance of moving up the ranks through a bold tyre gamble appears remote.

"I think that for us, if we want to gain some positions, I don’t think we should look into two stops. Now we can chose if we start with the ultra-soft tyre or the super-soft and go from there.

"Hopefully it’s just a one stop race. The ultra-soft is quicker but grains quite a bit more, so it’s not a great tyre for the race, but we’ll have to use it at some stage."

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