Valtteri Bottas: “It will be interesting to find out where we will be”

Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest on the final day of testing
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas left the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya content with the amount of progress the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team has made with their W09, with the Finn completing one hundred and four of the teams two hundred and one laps on the final day of pre-season testing on Friday.

The Finn, set to embark on his second season with the team in 2018, concentrated on gathering data about the Pirelli tyres on Friday afternoon after taking over the car from team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but still managed to set the sixth fastest time despite not going all out for speed at all throughout testing.

“Today was a very good ending to testing,” said Bottas. “As a team we completed more than 200 laps and I put in more than 100 laps in the afternoon. So that’s very positive and I’m very happy with the progress.

“Now we need to keep working for the week and a half before we travel to Melbourne. It will be interesting to find out where we will be.”

Bottas admitted the team has suffered issues with blistering on Pirelli’s softer compounds during the test, but they did manage to get the two hardest compounds to work well. He hopes the blistering problem does not return or affect their Australian Grand Prix weekend, particularly as the Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft are the nominated compounds.

“We got the Medium and the Hard tyres to work quite well,” admitted the Finn. “I think we still have issues with blistering on the softer compounds. Hopefully it will be different in Melbourne, but on the new track surface here in Barcelona we had some difficulties.

“The team has done a great job over the past two weeks. I really enjoy working with the team and I can’t wait to get racing.”