Valtteri Bottas’ comments on beating Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Miami qualifying

F1 preview: A lap of the Miami Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says he is very satisfied to beat Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix. The Finn was dropped by Mercedes at the end of last season as they put their faith in youngster George Russell.

Bottas beat both Hamilton and Russell in Miami by setting the fifth fastest lap in Q3. However, his former team-mate will be right on his should as Hamilton is set to start in sixth place. Russell will be further back in 12th.

When asked how it feels to beat the pair of Mercedes, Bottas said: “It is satisfying, especially after the day I had today and yesterday. By my mistake we lost a lot of running and it was extra work for the team. We made a really nice recovery.

“Once the car was there it was down to me to get the rhythm and I wanted to deliver for the team because of my mistake yesterday. That makes me even more happy.”

Bottas crashed in the first practice session on Friday meaning his team had to work late into the night to repair the car. Alfa Romeo are sitting fifth in the Constructors’ Championship but Bottas is confident he can challenge for podium places.

The 32-year-old added: “Of course, it’s Formula One, everything is possible. We are not far off. Realistically fighting with a Red Bull and Ferrari is tricky but anything can happen.”

Hamilton’s mood is of complete contrast to Bottas as he struggles to find the answers to Mercedes woes this term.

“It was a much, much better qualifying session than I’ve had for the last three races, so I’m grateful for that to be honest and I’ll take it,” the seven-time world champion said.

“We’ll keep on chipping away, keep working at it. So much amazing work is going on in the background and everyone is working so hard. Unfortunately I don’t think we are necessarily moving forwards at the rate we would like to.

“That gap is similar to the beginning of the year, I think. We have just got to keep our heads down, keep working, keep focused and keep trundling. Eventually we will get there.

“It’s not felt generally better this weekend, but today once I got the tyres in a better place it was feeling a little better in qualifying. For race pace? I have no idea.”

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