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.”

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.