Valtteri Bottas: “We still need to improve our one lap pace”

Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Valtteri Bottas believes the opening day of practice was a pretty standard Friday for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Williams Martini Racing driver finished in twelfth position, behind the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat with a quickest time of 1:37.861 to finish the session 0.478 ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa.

For Free Practice 2, Bottas finished the session in thirteenth, again performing strong for the Grove-based outfit, improving from his morning session time by 0.845 seconds. With everyone else improving on their performance, he had to settle for one position lower than the morning.

This is the first time teams and drivers have experienced the new tarmac after a major renovation at the Sepang International Circuit. Along with the whole venue being resurfaced, nine corners have been altered and the Finn believes it was interesting to understand how the new tarmac affects the FW38.

“Today was a pretty standard Friday,” said Bottas. “We got plenty of data and it was interesting to understand how the new tarmac would affect this year’s car.

“It definitely provided more grip. The tyres were also behaving more consistently than in previous years. The long runs were especially interesting today but the feeling was positive and we got some good data from them. We still need to improve our one lap pace, but the overall feeling is OK.”