Strong result from Valtteri Bottas today who finished the Emilia Romagna GP in 5th place right behind Mercedes' driver George Russell.
Bottas´ race started with complications after a contact with Daniel Ricciardo and a long pit stop but luckily for him, he could continue with the race in a strong form, catching Russell and putting huge pressure on at the end.
The Finn was happy with the result and told the media after the race: “It was a good race. Even with a bit of contact in turn 2 luckily there was no damage and the pitstop compromised the race a bit but after that we had really good pace, flat out through the race; I was catching Mercedes pretty well. Unfortunately, didn´t quite have the pace to overtake them at the end but was good.”
He later added about the fight with George Russell “I´ve really enjoyed it. It´s really good fun.”
"The upgrades we had this weekend definitely made the car stronger so it´s a good feeling.”
MotorLat had access to an online media session with Xevi Pujolar where he talked about his team´s performance today and showed his happiness with Valtteri´s result: “I think the start itself was ok…We had a big hit on the front wing, we thought we damaged our front wing because it was a significant hit. He mentioned that and we had to look at all that data and even when the car was going past we inspection and we saw it was O.K. so that was the reason why we lost the position and we could see some competitors at the start of the sprint were strong on the inters but then they were dropping on significantly so that was O.K.
"At the pitstop with the problem of the right front initially cost but we could recover that. And then, we were able to secure the wheel nut properly and that cost 11-12 seconds. We didn´t lose any position but we lost the gap to Russell for sure we would have been closer to Russell and Norris, could have challenged them.
"Question mark is, when you are in traffic then what happens with your right front. In free air we were very strong and were able to manage the tires well, keeping a good pace. If you fight all the way we could probably get a better position you can also damage more the front. I don´t know. I´m happy with the result we have got. Next time, for sure we´ll push for more but at the moment we take the P5.”
Pujolar explained, “We had done a step in the high speed and now we can be close to our competitors but for sure we want to do more and we´ve got more coming but now we can see that in terms of pace we are there. In terms of consistency we´ve been even better than our competitors in the race where´s a bit difficult with the tires. I don´t know how will be the tarmac in Miami but I think we can look at it in quite an encouraging way.”
When he was asked about how encouraging it was that in spite of all the problems they managed to get a strong result Pujolar said: “It was very encouraging for us but the thing is what happens when they are all fighting there that´s what at the moment we don´t know until we are there fighting with them. For sure, we are fighting with the Mercedes with Russell. It was a bit difficult on the straight but again in Miami it can be different.”