Valtteri Bottas was the fastest driver on day one of the two-day young-driver test at Silverstone today, with a lap of 1:31.436.
Considering the opposition, however, this was not a particularly difficult achievement. The Finn was up against just three other drivers who were much less experienced with F1 machinery, and were driving either a Marussia or an HRT.
Nevertheless, Bottas completed 120 laps for Williams around the Silverstone grand prix circuit, and was over five-second quicker than the next fastest driver, 21-year-old Brit Max Chilton.
“It's been a busy day completing 120 laps without any problems,” said Bottas. “We had a little rain towards the end but tested everything we wanted to on mixed fuel levels. It's been a really useful day for both me and the team. The shorter runs are good fun, especially on this track, but I was particularly looking forward to the longer runs. It was really useful to gather some information on how the tyres behave over the various runs and I feel that I am continuing to improve as a driver.
Williams Race Engineer Tom McCullough praised Bottas for his performance today, a session which proved constructive for the British team.
“It was a very productive day for us,” he explained. “We had some rain in the last 20 minutes which brought our race simulation to an early end, but the car was reliable all day allowing us to gather lots of data for evaluation. We had a very ambitious run plan and achieved nearly everything which is a good result. Valtteri drove excellently all day, doing everything we asked of him without putting a foot wrong.”