In Singapore, Valtteri Bottas spoke about the results of the previous two races, the prospects of the team this weekend and the situation on the market pilots…
Question: On qualifying in Spa and Monza you lost to Lewis a lot more than usual. The team found out why your car is not enough speed?
Valtteri Bottas: Yes. After Spa and Monza we have slightly changed the preparation for the qualification. In the race we had a different strategy, so I’m not worried about this lag.
In Spa I had to serve a penalty for a replacement motor, so I had no reason to participate in the final qualification. In Monza I lost three-tenths due to the lack of slipstream. Great, then I managed to regain the lead from Lewis in a few turns — it helped me to reduce the difference in the results to minimum.
Question: are You surprised that we haven’t won any races this year. There is a risk to remain without any victories?
Valtteri Bottas Until the season isn’t going as I expected, especially its beginning, and in the middle was not without setbacks. I had a chance to win the race, but failed. However, there is still seven races — seven chances to win. We continue to work, I am making progress — I have a chance to win.
Question: Mercedes often had no luck in Singapore. As the team prepares for this weekend? What do you expect, given the progress in the work with tires?
Valtteri Bottas We know that we are expecting a difficult race — car tracks do not fit this type, here we have more difficult than most others.
Last year the race took place on the drying asphalt, and closer to the finish it was dry and cool, so we are perfectly made. Usually in Singapore we have a lot of problems with overheating tyres. If you do without the rain and it will be hot, they can arise again.
We have learned from last year and slightly changed the settings for this race are extremely important for us Friday’s workout. Today we have to find out what positions we occupy, and how to configure the machine. But, in the end, the machine is such as it is.
Question: Mercedes did not expect victory in Monza, on the home track of Ferrari. You may have seen comments on social networks that some tifosi were unhappy with your race. You agree that your role now in the team finalized — you have to help Lewis?
Valtteri Bottas All can freely Express their thoughts. Tifosi have their opinions about different riders, but about me they think is not very good. But I was amused by all these comments. I more importantly, how I act, and how our team works.
Now the situation is this: Lewis is leading in the standings, and I give him a lot of points — I don’t know exactly how much. We work as a team and fight for victory in both tests. Of course I want to help with what we can, but the team doesn’t want to ruin my race.
For example, in Monza I drove a longer first segment, but at the end of the race was able to attack on fresh tyres and eventually made it to the podium. The team wants us to succeed. But I understand that now Lewis is fighting for the title, and I have very little chance, so if anything I can do to help him, then do it.
Question: In the week there were some interesting statements about the transitions riders. With the exception of Mercedes, the pilots will change. What do you think about this and also about the fact that the team competing for the title will be the 21-year-old boy?
Valtteri Bottas: I think we have a good situation: we have three years are not changing the composition. We work well together, and I hope that the next season will turn out for me much better. At least I’m happy with the team and to Mercedes — me. That’s good.
In other teams, a lot will change, in comes the Ferrari young driver. We will follow the struggle of the partners. It is always difficult to understand how competitive a particular racer, when it is in the other team. We are focused on the fight for the title next year and see what will do the rest.
Question: are You glad your situation with the contract before clear?
Valtteri Bottas: it’s Great that it happened before the summer break. On past experience I know that summer break is not as fun if there is no confidence in the future. It’s good to know what awaits us next year!
Question: Now there’s a lot of talk that Esteban Windows can remain without a contract next year. He was considered a candidate for a place in the Mercedes. You already feel the pressure due to the fact that he may have to be replaced in 2020?
Valtteri Bottas: No. I know that if I do not achieve good results, then my place may be taken by any driver, so do not fear anyone in particular. So runs this sport. If I achieve the posed task, all right. If not, then I’m not worthy of this place. It’s simple.
Question: Many were surprised by the return of Kimi Raikkonen in the Sauber…
Valtteri Bottas: I don’t know him well. Of course, many were surprised by his decision. Still, his career was well developed, and I hope that this will continue. It’s great for him. His decision confirmed that he likes to chase. Why not? I think it’s good for him and for Sauber. Curious what results they will achieve.
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