Valtteri Bottas says that tomorrow’s Dutch Grand Prix should be a great race, and that Mercedes will be able to utilise team strategy to take the battle to Red Bull and pole sitter Max Verstappen.
Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to pole by 0.038s, with Bottas set to start immediately behind the lead pair from third place.
“The car has been feeling good, but Red Bull were just a bit out of reach today,” he said afterwards. “We’re still lacking a little bit in the first sector, particularly through turns 2 and 3.
“My last lap in Q3 wasn’t the best,” he conceded. “I was up on my time until turn 11 but then got a bit too greedy and braked too late.
“But we have two cars in the top three and that’s important, so it’s all to play for and we’ll be on the attack tomorrow.
“It’s a great track to drive, especially in the middle sector where it is so fast, and also the banked corners,” he added.
“It’s a hard track to overtake on but the start and strategy will provide opportunities. I’m sure we will still see a great race.”
As Verstappen will be on his own at the front end of the grid with his team mate Sergio Perez down in 16th, the team is busy working out how best to use its strategy options tomorrow.
“We’re satisfied with where we ended up in qualifying, commented team principal Toto Wolff. “Valtteri did a strong job throughout the session.
“Having the cars in P2 and P3 is a good starting point for tomorrow. There are options on both one and two stops for the race and we have both our drivers up at the front.
“That gives us the chance to play different strategies and see where we end up. I think it’s going to be a really exciting race and there’s a good atmosphere here, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.”
“It’s going to be very difficult to overtake but having two cars at the front is an advantage,” agreed the team’s chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin.
“The indications from the sessions so far are that incidents are likely, so there’s still plenty of opportunity.”
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