Valtteri Bottas left his first official Formula One outing as a Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver highly impressed with the W08.
Bottas was gifted the debut drive at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during the first testing of the season, during which he completed a total of seventy-nine laps including a race simulation. He finished sixth fastest.
The Finn commented on how the theorised increase in downforce and grip have materialised through the wider wings and fatter tyres, creating a car that feels completely different to last season.
“The car feels very different to last year,” he said. “You can definitely feel the impact of the new regulations – the increased loads, the bigger, heavier cars, and more grip.
“I think they look great. They’re great fun to drive and they’re fast in the corners too.
“Physically the cars feel more demanding, but luckily I am well prepared for the season ahead.”
Mercedes’ over race distance run was a strategical plan to highlight any weaknesses now before the season begins. But unlike Red Bull Racing and McLaren Honda Formula One Team who both suffered issues, the Silver Arrows ran without a hitch, as far as we can tell.
“We were doing quite a lot of mechanical tests, checking systems, while trying to do mileage,” he continued. “We did 79 laps, more than a race distance, which is very good for the first morning of running.
“If we are going to face any issues with the car I hope we can face them now. That’s why we did more than a race this morning.
“We worked on long-runs, trying to gain all the information we could from these conditions. We didn’t really care at all about lap times today.”
Bottas was impressed by the reliability shown by the car, and was vocal in his praise to the team who’ve worked hard over the winter months in their attempts to chase another championship.
“I only started just over a month ago, but the way the car has been running is impressive,” he added. “It’s a good feeling.”