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Bottas fends off Ferrari: 15 laps of pressure from Vettel

Bottas fends off Ferrari
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D he first 3 races of the year were a disappointment for Valtteri Bottas . Last year's climber did not get going. In Melbourne he had to pause because of an injured disc. In the training duel it was 3-0 for Felipe Massa. The little Brazilian led on points by 30:18.

After the Bahrain GP, ​​the world is already looking friendlier for Bottas. He celebrated his first training win over Massa and reduced the overall standings to 30:31 points.

His masterpiece was the defensive battle against Sebastian Vettel. Actually, the Mercedes and Ferrari are out of reach for Williams. But the additional pit stop including a change of nose threw Vettel behind Bottas.

When the Ferrari driver sniffed a seven-second gap within seven laps, nobody would have bet that Bottas would have the red car in the following 15 laps would be able to keep behind. On tires that were 3 laps older. Bottas and Vettel got fresh, hard soles with them during their last pit stops.

Bottas uses engine power cleverly

Vettel ran into Bottas bulwark in vain. 'It was difficult to keep Seb because he was much faster. When he came in from behind, I couldn't imagine how I would fight him off until the end. I just knew it would be harder for him lap after lap would because his tires would wear off after driving behind me. So every lap he was behind me was a gift for me. '

Bottas always placed his Williams at the corner exit so that Vettel would give him better traction of the Ferrari could not accelerate. The exits of corners 1 and 2 as well as 8 and 10 were critical. 'These types of corners are the weak point of our car. If you still have to accelerate under lateral acceleration. I always made sure that I had full engine power in the right place.' /p>

Only in lap 56 Vettel had the red nose of his Ferrari in front. But the four-time world champion was too late on the brakes and overshot his goal in the first corner. A déjà vue for Bottas. 'I had exactly the same thing last year in a duel with Kimi. If you brake into the corner with the DRS open, you can easily misjudge your braking point.'

After 3 laps Williams pulls off

Despite the joy of fourth placeOutweighed at Bottas the concern about the great weakness of the Williams. The car runs too hard on its tires. 'We're almost as fast as the Ferrari on one lap. But they beat us by lengths in the race because they handle their tires better. The first three laps are all good. Then we simply lose grip faster than Mercedes and Ferrari. We now have three weeks to understand this problem. It has to be solved as soon as possible. '

Bottas was 42.9 seconds behind the winner at the finish. 'That is clearly too much. The car is good in principle, but too slow in the race.' Last year’s fourth place in the World Championship does not believe that tuning tricks are enough to keep the tires in their working window in continuous operation. 'We also need constructive measures. We still lack downforce and traction. I hope our upgrade in Barcelona will take us a step further.'


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