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Pirelli praises Bottas' wet-weather bravery

ESPN Staff
April 23, 2014 « McLaren plans 'aggressive' development to fight for wins | Montezemolo makes more changes at Ferrari »
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Pirelli has praised Valtteri Bottas' bravery after the Williams driver managed to hit 316km/h (197mph) in wet conditions during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Bottas was on the intermediate tyre at the time in conditions described by Pirelli as "so wet that visibility was minimal because of the spray coming from the surrounding cars". The speed was clocked during Q1 when drivers were caught between heading out on the intermediate tyre and going out on the full wets. However, at the end of Q3, when all drivers were on intermediates, the two Mercedes drivers went marginally faster.

"Seeing Bottas achieve those sorts of speeds, in the wet in China, was one of those moments that gave you goosebumps: which is what Formula One is meant to be all about," Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery said. "The Cinturato Green intermediate is in fact the only tyre in our range that is completely unaltered compared to 2013, but it was still able to provide complete control even under extremely marginal conditions. This performance underlines the sheer bravery and talent of today's Formula One drivers - which is what everyone wants to see."

The reduced downforce, and therefore reduced drag, of the 2014 Formula One cars have seen drivers hit higher top speeds this season than in recent years. During Sunday's dry race Nico Rosberg hit 336.8km/h (209mph) on the long back straight.

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