Despite the weather playing a big part in proceedings during the opening week of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Valtteri Bottas felt his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team got the most out of it as they could, but he hopes for better, more representative conditions next week.
The Finn completed sixty laps on the final day of the test on Thursday before handing the W09 EQ Power+ over to team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but said everyone within the team had done a great job to get the car ready and be reliable.
“The first week of testing was a tricky start for all the teams, but I think we managed to make the most out of it,” said Bottas. “Everyone in Brackley and Brixworth has done an amazing job, everything on the car worked so well since day one and the engine is running very smoothly as well.
“I’m looking forward to next week, hopefully we will come back to normal Barcelona conditions. I’m excited to keep learning about the W09 and maybe next week we will find out how quick it really is.”
The most useful information Bottas found on Thursday was how the track conditions evolved from wet-to-intermediate, and then from intermediate-to-wet, with the Finn managing to get some idea about the durability of the intermediate Pirelli tyre.
“We started in the wet today and got some very useful running done on both the Wet and the Intermediate tyres,” said Bottas. “I did a long run of roughly 30 laps on the Intermediates and could really feel the track conditions evolve during that run.
“We got some insights into the Intermediate tyres and their durability in temperatures like these. We later did a cross-over, changing from Inters to slicks tyres in a pit stops.
“That was very useful for the strategy team, but also for us as the drivers, as you learn a lot when you try to find the grip on the slicks and feel how the car behaves.
“So it turned out to be quite a useful morning despite the wet conditions. I did 60 laps which is what we had targeted. It would have been nice to drive a little more in the dry, but I think we made the most out of these conditions.”