Valtteri Bottas believes his car had a problem during the second practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix as a result of his crash in FP1.
After already touching the wall on the exit of Turn 19 early in the session, Bottas then locked up after a moment of oversteer on entry to the same corner later on and went straight into the barrier on the outside of the track (see video highlights below). The front left corner was heavily damaged and although he was able to complete a full program in FP2 he ended up 1.1 seconds slower than teammate Lewis Hamilton in the second session.
“It was a tricky one,” Bottas said. “I had a bit of an off moment in FP1 which ended my running a bit early, but I really was feeling OK until then. I just lost the back end in one of the corners, and obviously here with no run-offs, you pay the price. It can happen I guess.
“FP2, not sure really what was going on, I was lacking pace every single run, every tire compound, so I’m not quite sure if everything was right in the car. We need to have a look. It felt like I couldn’t go any quicker, but I was one second off the pace. A bit tricky.
“The only thing I could really feel was quite a bit of friction in the steering system, so I struggled to feel the car properly. We’ll look at everything, for sure, but I doubt everything was 100 percent. Obviously need to have a look at what I can do better as well.”
With Red Bull — and in particular Max Verstappen — looking quick in both sessions, Bottas says his crash highlights how drivers have to be pushing the limits throughout a race weekend, but reserved praise for Hamilton after his FP2 performance.
“For sure you need to push always, and the biggest push in Q3, obviously try and minimize the damage in practice. I think it’s going to be close between the three teams, but Lewis was definitely on form today.”
Hamilton admits he was dialed in with his Mercedes on Friday, after beating Verstappen to the fastest time of FP2.
“I was really happy,” Hamilton said. “I felt much better in the car today than I have for a while. I hope that stays over the whole of the weekend. But I think they redid a few patches — a few bits of tarmac on the circuit — the tires are working well. If you can get into a groove over here then it’s such a beautiful lap. I really enjoyed it.
“We’ve definitely got some areas we need to improve, which is always good, and nothing is ever perfect. So I’ve got to go and kind of study areas we can improve on the car but areas also I could improve — some of the braking and turning points, etc.”