Valtteri talks battling against tyre wear and Lewis' fifth title
'I'm already looking forward to the fight again next year'
Valtteri experienced a tough race on Sunday in Mexico and considering the circumstances, fifth place was always the maximum result possible at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
"I was trying to make the most out of the race," he said afterwards. "The good thing is that Lewis won the title. He really deserves this title. It was another strong season for him, especially the second half.
"Obviously, he has done great things in Formula One so far, and he still has much more time ahead of him. He's had a great year overall and not many setbacks.
"When I lost my opportunity for the title this year, I tried to help him a little to win the World Championship, but now I'm already looking forward to the fight again next year."
However, the 2018 season is not over yet, as Valtteri knows only too well: "Now we need to make sure to keep pushing and clinch the Constructors' Championship as well!"
Following on from the race in Mexico, the team goes into the last two rounds of the 2018 season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi with a 55-point lead over Ferrari.
'It was a tough race'
Valtteri lined up fifth on the grid and made up ground at the start, but struggled with tyre wear during the race and ended up finishing where he started on a three-stop strategy.
"It was a tough race," he concedes. "The start of the race was actually pretty good, but then we started to struggle with the tyres. It was challenging.
"We did everything that was possible. We need to make sure we learn from this weekend. We were not quick enough, and our tyres were degrading too quickly."
But, why was that the case? "I really do not know. We didn't expect the tyres to be so fragile. Tyre life was pretty poor.
"We ended up doing three stops, which is two stops more than we predicted. I tried to manage the tyres, and I made sure not to slide, but they still just fell apart."
The rapid degradation prompted the third stop for Valtteri, switching over to HyperSofts. "My tyres were gone, and there was no risk as Nico Hülkenberg was one lap behind," he explained. "I think most teams struggled a bit, but maybe not as much as we did, so we will have to investigate."