Singapore a new challenge for Bottas

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Williams rookie Valtteri Bottas had the chance to drive on most F1 circuits before racing on them this year. But this weekend’s race in Singapore will be one of few exceptions.

“I’ve never driven at Singapore in a lower category and it was one of the tracks that I didn’t drive in Friday practice last year for Williams,” said Bottas ahead of this weekend’s race.

However he believe he will be able to get to grips with the track quickly: “I will be doing a lot of simulator work ahead of the Grand Prix to get used to the layout because it has a lot of corners that come in quick succession.”

“I’m normally quite fast at learning new tracks though and showed in Montreal this year that I can quickly get up to speed.”

Team mate Pastor Maldonado starred at this race last year, qualifying second on the grid and running third until he suffered a hydraulic failure.

His chances of repeating his front row start this year are slim as the Williams FW35 is firmly at the rear of the midfield. But he believes he knows all the tricks to a quick lap around Singapore:

“I had a very strong qualifying here last year, finishing in second place,” he said, “so I feel like this layout suits my eye and I know how to squeeze every tenth out of the lap time.”

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”