Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): “We never bluffed” / Formula 1


In the winter test, the assumption made the rounds: Mercedes wanted to hide how fast they can really drive. But GP winner Valtteri Bottas says in Bahrain: “We have never bluffed.”

Valtteri Bottas will start in the Bahrain Grand Prix from third place on the grid. The World Cup runner-up in 2019 and 2020 looks back on his training Saturday: “I couldn’t find a good balance in the third free practice session, so we made some changes for qualifying. The car felt better after that, but the lap time didn’t confirm that. So we rebuilt again and in the end I was only able to do one fast lap because of that. The feeling in the car is getting better and better, but it’s not yet ideal. “

“But you have to see the positive: We now have two cars in the top three, which creates some opportunities for the race. Of course we’re not happy that we’re behind, but now it’s also clear – we didn’t bluff in the winter test. “

“It was clear to us that we were not the fastest at the moment and that we had a lot of work ahead of us. But the mood is good, because we also notice that we are making progress with the new car. ”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has confirmed: Mercedes is more affected than Red Bull Racing by the rule changes made by the FIA. Because the RBR racer is set up steeply from the front to the rear axle, which apparently makes the loss of downforce due to the changed regulations easier to digest.

Valtteri Bottas remains diplomatic: “I’m really a real aerodynamics fan, but I couldn’t say exactly what influence that has. I don’t even know the vehicle philosophy at Red Bull Racing. So let’s put it this way – they did a darn good job that winter. We have to catch up. “

Qualifying, Bahrain

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing RB16B-Honda, 1:28,997
02. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes W12, 1:29,385
03. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes W12, 1: 29,586
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari SF21, 1: 29.678
05. Pierre Gasly (F), AlphaTauri AT02-Honda,1:29,809
06. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), McLaren MCL35M-Mercedes, 1: 29,927
07. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren MCL35M-Mercedes, 1: 29,974
08. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari SF21,1:30,215
09. Fernando Alonso (E), Alpine A521-Renault, 1.30,249
10. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin AMR21-Mercedes, 1:30,601
11. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing RB16B-Honda, 1:30,659
12. Antonio Giovinazzi (I), Alfa Romeo C41-Ferrari, 1: 30.708
13. Yuki Tsotaka (J), AlphaTauri AT02-Honda, 1: 31,203
14. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN), Alfa Romeo C41-Ferrari, 1: 31,238
15. George Russell (GB), Williams FW43B-Mercedes, 1:33,430
16. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine A521-Renault, 1:31,724
17. Nicholas Latifi (CDN), Williams FW43B-Mercedes, 1:31,926
18. Sebastian Vettel (D), Aston Martin AMR21-Mercedes, 1:32,056
19. Mick Schumacher (D), Haas VF-21-Ferrari, 1:32,449
20. Nikita Mazepin (RUS), Haas VF-21-Ferrari, 1:33,273

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Valtteri Bottas Mercedes bluffed Formula


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