Positive start leaves Bottas targeting Canada Top 10
By Mat Coch
Sunday 18th June, 2023 - 4:47am
A positive Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix has left Valtteri Bottas believing his car is capable of being in the top 10 come qualifying.
The Finn was seventh fastest in Free Practice 2 on a day that saw Free Practice 1 effectively abandoned and was again in the top 10 in Free Practice 3.
It’s a strong turnaround from the Spanish Grand Prix, where the 10-time race winner struggled for pace to finish second last.
Post-race, it was revealed he’d competed with a damaged floor, with no such issues apparent in Canada.
“First practice, it was only, like, one timed lap, and second practice, at least we got lots of running only with the rain in the end compromised a bit,” he said following Friday’s running.
“But still, I think we got a decent amount of laps in the end if we count everything.
“Overall, at least in the dry conditions, felt like quite a positive day.
“The car was immediately there, performance was within top 10 all the time, so I think as a Friday isn’t bad.”
Maintaining that positive initial performance in Canada is the priority for Bottas heading into the remainder of the weekend.
“I feel like we do have a top 10 car here,” he said.
“That, as always, means we need to find improvements but at least based on today, we need to be able to get the top 10.”
Bottas did have a moment in the final minutes of Free Practice 2, sliding off the road under braking for the hairpin towards the end of the lap.
Though he took to the grass briefly, there was no harm done and he was able to collect the car once it skated back onto the race track and return to the pits.
The challenge teams now face is how a wet Saturday feeds in to a dry Sunday.
With cars entering parc ferme the moment they roll out in qualifying, the difficulty is knowing where to place the car to get the balance between wet pace to get grid position and race pace to maintain or gain it.
“It’s a compromise, always,” Bottas admitted.
“So you want to be competitive on Sunday as well, so we’ll look into it and see if we find a good compromise, but fingers crossed.”