Bottas 'much more comfortable' and 'confident' than in Baku

The Finn, however, does not know if his upturn in form comes from the chassis change made by Mercedes before the French round.

Published on 18/06/2021 à 17:24


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Bottas 'much more comfortable' and 'confident' than in Baku

The Finn was at ease this Friday in the Var / © DPPI

Author of the best time in Free Practice 1, Valtteri Bottas confirmed his good abilities at Le Castellet (Var) by finishing just 0'008 from the reference established by Max Verstappen (Red Bull) in EL2 on Friday afternoon. 

These performances contrast sharply with the difficulties encountered by the Finn two weeks ago in Baku (Azerbaijan), where he finished in an anonymous 12th place after qualifying with difficulty in 10th position. 

Ahead of the French meeting, Mercedes swapped Bottas' chassis and Lewis Hamilton, thus respecting a long-planned rotation program. 

Asked to know if his performance today was explained by such a change, the Finn showed no certainty, other than being more comfortable on the track. 

« I don't know if it comes from the chassis or the track conditions but the feeling behind the wheel is much better than two weeks ago, he commented. We're starting the weekend off on the right foot. I feel comfortable and fast at the moment.

The tracks are so different but the tires work well, the balance of the car is satisfactory. I feel confident and that's the main difference ». 

Across the Mercedes garage, Hamilton was not as enthusiastic. Beaten by Bottas during the two opening sessions, the seven-time world champion refused to attribute his delay to the change of chassis. 

Hamilton reported that “ the feeling is not very different compared to Monaco or Baku » where the Briton was in difficulty. 

« I don't know if it's the track surface, the temperature, or the tires have never been so inflated., he sighed. We slip everywhere and it's a bit of a hassle ». 

Hamilton consoled himself by noting that his times “ were not catastrophic », the English driver was 0''335 behind Bottas in FP1 and 0''253 behind Verstappen in FP2. 


AUTOhebdo deputy editor-in-chief. The feather dipped in gall.

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