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2017 F1

I’m sure spa will witness another tight battle – Bottas

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Transcript of the part two of the Thursday Press Conference organised by the FIA for the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix

Q: Valtteri, you’re the top scorer in the last six grands prix on 106 points. Eight more than Vettel, 16 more than Hamilton and the only man to finish on the podium on the last five in succession – the best streak of your career: how much more confidently do you start the second half of the season, compared to the first?

Valtteri BOTTAS: Definitely it is nicer, the start of the second half than the first half because I started this season with a new team, new environment, there was so many things for me to get used to and to learn, so now I can just get on with it. So, I’m looking forwards to the second half and nice to be back here in Spa.

Q: We’re seeing a lot of renewal announcements coming through for Stoffel, we just had him here, Kimi obviously. When can we expect yours?

VB: Well yeah. First of all, congrats to Kimi and Stoffel for that. For me, there’s no news yet, and we will tell you the news when there is some.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) Valtteri, everybody says that the circuit seems to be more adapted to your car than the Ferrari but on the other hand, Pirelli surprised everybody by using the ultrasoft tyres here. In this competition, what do you project for your weekend here?

VB: I think we are more confident coming to this race than, for example, a track like Budapest. I think we have seen that on the very high downforce tracks Ferrari is very strong. They’ve been not bad at any circuit so we don’t feel that we are favourites or anything but we feel we can be reasonably strong here and I’m sure it’s going to be another tight battle and with the tyre compounds, luckily it’s not quite as hot as last year so the soft compounds can actually be very good but it’s (inaudible) to predict really so we will see once we have started practice and see how the tyres work. But I personally always rather go softer than too hard with the tyres so I’m happy for the decision.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) To Valtteri and Kimi: two Finns on the podium in two successive races for the first time ever. Would it mean anything to you to make a new kind of history with a hat trick?

KR: Obviously we must try to win races. If you don’t get that then you get the next positions and would it really make us happier? I don’t think I know. I think you’re happy if you win but less if you come second or third but obviously it’s been great for Finns, for us, but I don’t think it’s something that you aim to purposely do or you get more satisfaction from that I think is purely if you do better than worse.

VB: Yeah, I think definitely to finish one-two would be better than two-three so but yeah, we are always there to try and win the race and not really focus on who is third or second. Of course, it would be nice.

Q: (Graham Harris – Motorsport Monday, Motorsport Weekly) Kimi and Valtteri, one of you has been confirmed for next year, one of you is still waiting to be confirmed. You are both at the sharp end of the grid. Do you think, Kimi, the fact that you’ve got next year out of the way and we won’t be asking you these questions any more eases the pressure on you? And Valtteri, do you think that because you haven’t been confirmed and you don’t know what is actually happening next year this puts added pressure on you in addition to winning races?

VB: No, for me it doesn’t make a difference. Coming to this weekend, not thinking about it. Like I’ve said before, I’m used to these situations over the last few years, always the same thing that there’s no confirmation about next year so now that we start the race weekend with a practice tomorrow, it’s not going to be in my mind, for sure, so I’m just going to focus on the driving and the weekend, getting the most out of the weekend so no pressure from there.

KR: I don’t think it’s serious, you know. Maybe this weekend again you guys will not ask at the next race but start again, so that wouldn’t be a big surprise for me. Obviously it’s more easy to deal with that side of the stuff and we can put all our effort into pure racing. It just doesn’t change the end result, it doesn’t guarantee better results or worse results. It doesn’t work like that but it’s a good thing to be done.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Valtteri, fitness-wise, which is more demanding: a duathlon or a Formula One race?

VB: It’s completely different so you just can’t compare. Driving, how you feel it physically, it’s way different to running or cycling. Obviously both sports are demanding but in so different ways that it’s difficult to compare.

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