Valtteri Bottas maximizing potential of FW35 car

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Starting P15 may not be ideal for any driver, but Valtteri Bottas believes that he did all he could in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Williams rookie squeezed through Q1 after setting the exact same time as his teammate Pastor Maldonado, but Bottas went through after he crossed the line earlier in the session. He admitted that he was fortunate to make it through.

“I had a bit of traffic in Q1 so I was quite lucky to get through given that one or two tenths can be the difference between progressing to Q2 or not,” Bottas said in a team statement.

“I put a good lap together in Q2, the best lap I’ve driven here this weekend, so I’m pleased about that.”

The Williams FW35 has proved troublesome for the team in 2013, with the team yet to score any points, but Bottas is fired up for the race tomorrow.

“I feel I got everything out of the car today but tomorrow will be a long race in these conditions, so I will be ready to challenge right from the start.”

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Williams will be disappointed to have not got both cars into Q2 at any race so far this season, and with his teammate outqualifying him here, the pressure may be on Pastor Maldonado upon Formula One’s return to the site of his first grand prix victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.