Bottas won't risk as much at British GP start

Valtteri Bottas says he will not be repeating his risky start strategy for the British Grand Prix, after escaping a penalty for his super swift getaway in Austria last weekend.

The Finn brilliantly anticipated the start at the Red Bull Ring, with any movement made before the lights went out within tolerances allowed by the FIA.

But while his ninth-placed grid slot at Silverstone - as the result of a gearbox grid penalty - means making positions away from the line is even more important, he says it is unlikely he will take as many risks this time out.

"I watched the F2 start and somehow now the lights went really quick, so I think they will make more variation with the lights than before," said Bottas. "I don't want to gamble anything – I want to be on it, and make a good start.

"It will be important to make any positions I can gain at the start, because if I get stuck behind a slower car for a few laps, I always lose many seconds in the race and I cannot afford that. Any opportunity I need to maximise.

"But especially if the weather is going to play a part, the main thing is we need to stay in the race and not make mistakes. There will be mistakes, there could be collisions always, so I need to calculate the risks. We do have a strong car and it will only be a matter of time before I get those opportunities."

Pole shot

Bottas admitted to some disappointment at only managing the fourth best time in qualifying – as he suggested that running soft tyres in Q2 for race strategy reasons meant he was not as confident for his runs on the supersoft in Q3.

"The grip difference between the tyres is quite big and with these cars that we drive now, extracting 100 percent out of the tyres, it needs a bit more than before really," he said.

"You really need to push the car more to find the limit and the more you can run in qualifying, you always manage to find lap time there, and you always manage to get more trust in the car.

"I was two times running the soft and in these cooler conditions, with the track drying up, the difference between tyres was even bigger. So that definitely made an effect.

"It was really about getting in the rhythm and always in qualifying when you see every driver improving in qualifying and some big steps – it is more than just track condition, it is us finding lap time."

Asked what he felt was possible if the British GP remains dry, he said: "I've set a target minimum to be on the podium, that is the approach.

"I always feel positive about every opportunity ahead and I know we have a very strong car here.

"I felt good in the long runs and I feel that the decision we made after the gearbox penalty to run the soft tyre in Q2, to start the race in that, as all the tyres in front of me starting on the supersoft, that can create some realistic opportunities to get some strong points for us as a team."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event British GP
Track Silverstone
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news