IN WORDS: A Shame to Miss Out on Suzuka Podium – Valtteri

IN WORDS: A Shame to Miss Out on Suzuka Podium – Valtteri

Valtteri Bottas says it was a shame he missed out on a podium finish at the Japanese Grand Prix after a strong recovery drive at Suzuka.

'It was never going to be easy'

The Finn picked up a five-place penalty for a gearbox change prior to the race, dropping him from second to sixth on the grid.

Suzuka is notoriously difficult for overtaking, but Valtteri still battled his way up the order and finished right behind Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo in P4.

"It was a close fight, but we had some opportunities, especially in the end getting closer to Daniel (Ricciardo)," he said afterwards.

"It was just not enough time. That was pretty much the maximum. The pace seemed to be okay but we always knew coming to this race that overtaking is tricky.

"Our car was good here, better than two weeks ago. Obviously we didn't get a tough competition with Ferrari, but maybe in two weeks.

"Starting sixth, it was never going to be easy. I'm sad that it is only P4 because that is not that exciting, I tried everything I could. It would have been nice to get a bit of a reward with a podium."

'There weren't enough laps'

Valtteri put in a long first stint on the Soft tyre before switching to the Super Soft compound for the run to the chequered flag, with the strategy enabling him to push hard at the end of the race.

"The strategy choice was definitely good; it went pretty much as we had planned," he explained. "It gave us opportunities in the end of the race with fresher tyres.

"Otherwise it would have been really difficult to try something. I was getting really close to the Red Bull but there weren't enough laps left, it just would have been good to be on the podium. That was the target for the race."

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