Valtteri Bottas could be on for one of his best points finishes since leaving Mercedes at Alfa Romeo, after qualifying in sixth place for the Mexican Grand Prix. The Finn is competing at one of his 'form' tracks, having taken Pole at the Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit last year and finishing third in 2019. With Ferrari suffering from power unit-related issues and the regular midfield teams Alpine and McLaren off the pace, Bottas has been the driver who has consistently been 'best of the rest' this weekend. "Actually, the pace been good all weekend, but since FP1 we saw that we were definitely in the top ten, but we didn't know if other teams were lacking pace or something," Bottas told media. "But we seem to be in the same performance all through the weekend and being able to find a bit of gains throughout [the lap]." The team has been one of the quickest in the straight-line speed traps at both Austin and Mexico, they also brought some significant upgrades to their front wing at Suzuka. With a higher altitude at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez creating less drag, it has played to the C42's strengths, according to Bottas. "The track layout did help, with slow-speed corners that really work well for us," he explained. "I think maybe the upgrades we've had since the last two races, somehow they are popping up a bit more [here]. "I felt really comfortable and had good laps, especially the last leg of Q3."
Bottas aiming for 'best of the midfield'
It is the best Saturday performance for Alfa Romeo since the Miami Grand Prix, which took place six months ago. With their pace advantage relative to both McLaren and Alpine - who also only have one car each starting inside the top ten - Bottas is hoping to be "best of the midfield" at the end of the race on Sunday. "I think we have a good race and we've seen it also in the long runs the pace is there. "[We] should be hopefully the best of the midfield, let's say. All we need is good clean lap one. "We need points for our battle in the championship and we’re in an excellent position to have a good fight."