Valtteri Bottas: “It’s way to early to tell exactly where we are”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas is satisfied that the newly delivered upgrades are working as they should, though he is cautious to consider the team’s 1-2 finish during both of Friday’s practices as truly representative of the overall standings.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver is well aware that teams normally hold-back some performance for Saturday; after all, it is a tactic utilised by Mercedes themselves.

Today was an important one for us with the new upgrade package on the car,” he said. “Our target was to evaluate if the new upgrades are working well and it seems like they are.

“At this time it’s way to early to tell exactly where we are, but everything seems to be working well so far.”

Two weeks have passed since he achieved his first ever win in Formula 1, and from today’s performance at least it appears as though pole position will be a tussle between Bottas and his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, who only marginally beat the Finn to the top spot.

But the threat from Scuderia Ferrari has not been ruled out, meaning Mercedes cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Instead the work continues to extract as much performance from the parts as is physically possible. In the end, the close championship fight depends on it.

It’s always nice to start the weekend in a positive way, but the main days are Saturday and Sunday,” he added. “As always we will work hard to find any performance.

“I really enjoyed it out there today so I hope we can squeeze some more performance out of the package.”