Bottas: Mercedes’ advantage at Monza "slightly surprising"

Valtteri Bottas says he found it “slightly surprising” to see Mercedes so far clear of its Formula 1 rivals in Friday’s practice running for the Italian Grand Prix.

Bottas: Mercedes’ advantage at Monza "slightly surprising"

Bottas was able to lead Mercedes to a 1-2 finish in first practice on Friday at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza before teammate Lewis Hamilton edged clear in the second afternoon session.

Both sessions saw Mercedes finish well clear of the rest of the field, with third-placed Lando Norris lapping almost nine tenths off the pace in FP2 for McLaren.

Red Bull has often been Mercedes’ closest competitor through the 2020 so far, but Max Verstappen could only finish the day fifth-fastest, over a second off Hamilton’s leading time.

Bottas said after practice that he was largely happy with the day despite needing to find some rear stability in places, but was surprised that Mercedes’ advantage was so big.

“It felt pretty good all through the day,” Bottas said.

“I’m sure we can still improve it. I would say the biggest issue for me was a bit of a lack of stability in a few corners on the rear end, but other than that, pretty good.

“I think the performance and the lap times compared to others, it’s slightly surprising at this point. Of course we’ll see tomorrow.”

Asked how much more lap time Mercedes could find in the W11 car ahead of qualifying on Saturday, Bottas replied: “There is always more to come, for sure.

“I think my lap in practice two wasn’t that great, so also from my side, there’s quite a bit more to come. I’m sure it’s the same case for every team.”

Read Also:

Second practice on Friday saw a number of drivers get lap times deleted for running wide at Parabolica, as well as a lot of bunching at points as cars tried to get a tow off each other.

Bottas said the qualifying tactics were to be expected given the “fine margins” across the course of a lap at Monza.

“It’s a quick and short lap, and not that many corners to make differences,” Bottas said.

“It’s going to be a nice battle, but I feel really good, so I look forward to it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Italian GP: Hamilton heads FP2 as Mercedes dominates
Previous article

Italian GP: Hamilton heads FP2 as Mercedes dominates

Next article

2020 F1 Italian GP Friday practice results

2020 F1 Italian GP Friday practice results
Load comments
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021