The Italian Grand Prix has started with a bittersweet taste for Mercedes. The day ended with a 1-2 for them, with Valtteri Bottas outqualifying his teammate but things didn’t turn out perfectly.
The team did change some elements. In the Italian evening, Bottas has been hit with a heavy penalty. He has dropped to the end of the grid and he will have to start the race on Sunday from the rear of the pack. Nevertheless, the Finn is convinced he will be able to gain the path during the race.
“I think sprint obviously, there's a possibility to get a few points, so of course, try to get the maximum points tomorrow that we can, - he stated. - Then it's another fight on Sunday. Now I'll just focus first on tomorrow, and try to deal with it on Sunday. Having a look at the pace we have here, I'm sure we can still get some strong points on Sunday."
The Finn said that he is satisfied with the car’s path.
“It felt nice and I enjoyed the last lap, it was a beautiful lap and I really had fun. The car has been really good this weekend, and we saw that there's a bit of a gap to Red Bull as well. So it's been maybe stronger than we expected so far this weekend, and hopefully it will be the same in the race.”
Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, doesn’t seem worried about the take two of the Sprint Race’s format and he only talks about how happy he is for Bottas' performance, especially in the light of the news of his landing at Alfa Romeo and the subsequent arrival of Russell in Mercedes in 2022.
“It’s great to have a front-row lock out for the team, - he says, before adding to Motorsport.com: - “Particularly with the news this week, it's great to Valtteri going so well."