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Bottas still searching for balance after "messy" Friday practice

Bottas still searching for balance after "messy" Friday practice

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Bottas still searching for balance after "messy" Friday practice

Bottas still searching for balance after "messy" Friday practice

Valtteri Bottas has conceded he was "not fully happy" with his Friday running at the Bahrain Grand Prix after a "messy" day.

Bottas ended second practice in third place with a time one minute 29.366 seconds, an effort 0.365 secs slower than his pace-setting team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

It was a disrupted day, with a number of obligatory development tyre runs, two second-session stoppages and several individual errors leaving Bottas feeling there is plenty more to give.

"I think overall not bad," he said. "[I'm] Still not fully happy with the balance and both of the sessions were slightly messy with traffic and mistakes here and there so there is a lot more to come.

"[The second session] was definitely more challenging in the first, which it always is here, and also tomorrow free practice three will be tricky because it is a bit warmer track temperature and a bit more wind."

Bottas may have been the last driver standing in the fight to prevent Hamilton from securing his seventh world title, but the Finn's second place is now under threat from Verstappen.

The Dutchman trails Bottas by 27 points in the standings and split the two Mercedes drivers on Friday.

Asked if he expects Red Bull to be a threat across the weekend, Bottas answered: "It's tricky to say from today honestly because I think many teams were having different run profiles because we had some new Pirelli tyres to try.

"I think every team had a different run profile so it's a bit difficult to read. I think Red Bull is up there. They looked pretty good in the second session."

Formula 1 has traditionally raced in Bahrain towards the beginning of the year, but Bottas commented he noticed little difference in the late-November conditions aside from the damp start to practice one.

He joked: "I didn't expect to see raindrops in Bahrain but anything can happen. I think overall the temperatures are not much different so not really."

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