Spanish GP: Bottas says Williams set-up changes transformed weekend

Valtteri Bottas hailed significant set-up changes to his Williams Formula 1 car after the final free practice session for helping him to qualify fourth for the Spanish Grand Prix

Spanish GP: Bottas says Williams set-up changes transformed weekend

The Finn skipped first practice so Williams reserve driver Felipe Nasr could participate, and failed to make the top 10 in either of the remaining sessions as he struggled with the handling of his FW36.

But Bottas rallied in qualifying, finding speed in each segment thanks to a substantially revised set-up, which helped him to a best lap less than four tenths adrift of Daniel Ricciardo's third-placed Red Bull, and five places ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa.

"Personally I had a really nice lap in the end, which felt good because it was a difficult weekend so far for me," Bottas said.

"Practice two and three were quite difficult, but we made some quite big set-up changes for qualifying and finally started to get more trust for the rear of the car and that way managed to pick up some speed.

"It required a different driving style, but it came from something I noticed on Felipe's car - some things we were doing differently with the set-up.

"Practice three was so difficult for me I thought it better to make a change than stay as we were because we were struggling."

Team-mate Massa was quicker through the first two segments of qualifying, but rued an error in Q3 that restricted him to ninth on the grid for Sunday's race.

"I had an incredible qualifying: Q1 and Q2 I was competitive, and then in Q3 I just locked the rear tyres braking for Turn 10, went straight out of the line and lost maybe six or seven tenths in one sector," Massa explained.

"I'm really disappointed. Today it was easy to start both cars fourth and fifth so for sure I'm not starting on my [correct] position and I'm disappointed in me.

"It's a shame because everything was going perfect through the whole weekend, but the race is tomorrow and you never know.

"It won't be easy starting ninth, but we'll see. Everything can happen and our car looks a little bit more competitive here."

shares
comments
Spanish GP: Pastor Malonado calls qualifying accident 'very strange'

Previous article

Spanish GP: Pastor Malonado calls qualifying accident 'very strange'

Next article

Spanish GP: Sebastian Vettel gets five-place gearbox penalty

Spanish GP: Sebastian Vettel gets five-place gearbox penalty
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021