Bottas: Verstappen pass easier than I expected in F1 Styrian GP

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas says passing Max Verstappen for second place in the Styrian Grand Prix proved easier than expected

Bottas: Verstappen pass easier than I expected in F1 Styrian GP

From fourth on the grid Bottas spent the latter part of the race chasing down Verstappen, and having stopped 10 laps later than the Red Bull driver, his tyres were in better shape.

Although he couldn't make his first attempt to pass stick, Bottas successfully got by the Dutch driver on lap 67 to claim the runner-up spot behind Mercedes team-mate and race winner Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas admitted that he'd anticipated Verstappen would be harder to pass, but the tyre advantage worked in his favour.

"He's always going make it hard, there's no doubt about that!," said Bottas. "I did enjoy it the first time around. I thought I had it.

"But yeah, he definitely tried to do everything he could to stay ahead. So he was on outside in Turn 3, which I kind of didn't expect. So that's why, second time around, I tried to make sure that it doesn't happen again. It was good.

"We were going through Turns 5 and 6 side by side. But I realised in Turn 6 by the first time around, there's not going to be a space anymore for two cars. So I decided to back off and try again. But yes, as you said, I did have momentum, I had tyre advantage.

"So in the end it was actually easier than what I thought it could be, if I would think about that situation 10 to 15 laps earlier. I thought it was going to be close and tricky, but in the end I think his tyres fell off."

Bottas conceded that his extended opening stint on soft tyres put him in a strong position with younger mediums for the second half of the race, but lost some of his momentum lapping backmarkers.

"I was not too worried about the tyres because we did a pretty long stint with the soft, the soft was holding on well, so I had really no big doubts about the medium," he said.

"But of course didn't want to go crazy with the back markers. I think I was a bit unlucky as well that there was some guys racing properly in front of me sometimes, more than one lap. And it really cost me quite a few seconds.

"So it was not as smooth as I wanted in terms of how to clear them. But then I saw and felt immediately once I got into clean air that everything is still pretty good. Tyre temperatures feel fine and I felt the pace was there.

"It was about calculating how much I want to push, do I want to catch him very quick, or do I want to catch him progressively and try to be fast at the end of my stint? I think that worked pretty well in the end."

shares
comments
Racing Point think there's still more pace to unlock from its 2020 F1 car

Previous article

Racing Point think there's still more pace to unlock from its 2020 F1 car

Next article

Red Bull expects to close gap on Mercedes at F1 Hungarian GP

Red Bull expects to close gap on Mercedes at F1 Hungarian GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen , Valtteri Bottas
Author Adam Cooper
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Plus

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz Jr in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new team-mate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021