Bottas left to rue narrowly missing podium
8 October 2017 – Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was left to rue narrowly missing out on a podium finish at the Japanese Grand Prix, as he came home within a second of Red Bull rival Daniel Ricciardo.
Bottas qualified second but was shuffled down to sixth on the grid due to a gearbox penalty, and Mercedes opted to put Bottas on the alternate strategy, running a Soft/Super Soft approach.
Bottas ran a long first stint to briefly lead the race, emerging from his sole stop in fourth position, and he reeled in Soft-shod Ricciardo during the closing laps.
Ricciardo, though, held firm to register a podium, leaving Bottas in fourth place, with the Finn now just 13 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the championship.
"It was a close fight, especially in the end I was getting closer to Daniel," said Bottas.
"But there just was not enough time anymore and the Virtual Safety Car didn't help either.
"The pace seemed to be okay, but coming to this race we always knew that overtaking is tricky.
"The strategy was good for me today. It created a good opportunity in the end, otherwise it would have been really difficult to even get close.
"The race was close to our game plan, but it would have been nice to be on the podium."
Bottas added: "I've definitely learned a lot again from this weekend.
"I now want to focus on the last few races, make the most out of them and see where we end up this year.
"I'm looking forward to Austin. I enjoy the track very much; it's where I got my first points in Formula 1 and I always love going back there."
Bottas trails team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the standings by 72 points.