Valtteri Bottas came out of a “tricky day” in Montreal with third place on the Formula 1 grid for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, continuing his impressive record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Since qualifying third for then-backmarkers Williams for his first Canadian Grand Prix in 2013, Bottas has enjoyed a good record at the race, taking podium finishes in 2015 and 2016.
A sign of Bottas’ rapid progress since moving up to Mercedes for 2017 came on Saturday when P3 in qualifying left him somewhat unimpressed, having struggled for pace throughout the final Q3 shootout.
Bottas finished six-tenths of a second shy of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the checkered flag, leaving him third also behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
“I was really trying hard, but it was a tricky day for me. I struggled with the balance of the car and wasn’t really happy in FP3,” Bottas explained.
“We made some changes and the car was much better in qualifying, but then in Q3 when it came down to getting those last hundredths and tenths, the car became unstable again. I just couldn’t get that lap together.
“The long runs seem OK though, so once again, I’m expecting it to be very close in the race with Ferrari. It’s all about tomorrow.”