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Bottas: China was my strongest weekend

NEWS STORY
16/04/2018

It's not entirely clear why Valtteri Bottas looked quite so dejected on the Shanghai podium yesterday; whether it was the fact he'd lost out on what seemed a certain win or the prospect of being forced to drink from Daniel Ricciardo's shoes, the Finn looking on in absolute disgust as the Australian slowly poured the bubbling nectar into his Puma pump.

Speaking later, though disappointed at the outcome, the Finn insisted that Shanghai was his strongest performance of the year thus far.

"Overall, Melbourne could have been the strongest weekend for the team... pace-wise," he said. "For me personally I think China was my strongest weekend.

"Qualifying was good. We just couldn't match Ferrari but against my team-mate it was fine. In the race, the pace was good. It really felt like I could get everything out of the car but unfortunately the result wasn't what we wanted."

Having pulled off a bold move on race leader Sebastian Vettel, just days after facing criticism for failing to deal with the German in Bahrain, the Finn was subsequently himself the victim of a charging Daniel Ricciardo.

"He was really closing in quickly and there was a big pace difference," he admitted. "I think they had a really strong car and on top of that they had fresh tyres at that point. Seeing how the pace disappeared afterwards, it was only a matter of time."

Looking ahead, he said: "I'm looking forward to Baku. It's another great opportunity. Now it's two races in a row that I have been so close to winning. I'm so hungry for the win.

"It is competitive this year in F1," he added. "We are facing a big challenge. We know we can still improve in many areas and I think it is only a matter of time before we get everything perfect and the win will come.

"But it has not been ideal first three races. If we need to find any positives from today I think we made good progress with the points in the Constructors' Championship."

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1. Posted by Pavlo, 17/04/2018 11:51

"Oh then he is in real trouble. Lot of other people had much stronger drives and would like to have his place.
What he did is he just had a good start (helped by Vettel, just didn't screw up), good out-lap (in Mercedes on fresh tires every top-driver just must be able to) and then had a boring drive. Maybe he is just happy there was no opportunity to overtake anyone. I don't see it as strong.
Well, compared to Lewis he did well, but not more than that."

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