“We still haven’t unlocked the full potential” – Valtteri Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas believes that Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport are still yet to find the full capability of the W09 EQ Power+.

Mercedes have consistently been around the top of the timing screens in winter testing, but have only once managed to end a day on top – day four of the first test, courtesy of Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas says that Mercedes have improved on last year’s car but admitted that other teams are causing some concern; Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have started this year how they ended the last, challenging Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari.

“The car felt OK,” said Bottas.

“We did some shorter runs in the beginning, and then longer runs afterwards. We definitely made some improvements once again. We’ve made good progress since last year, but some other cars look quick as well.”

Bottas thankful for better weather

With Barcelona enjoying more customary, warmer weather this week, running has become more meaningful after last week’s cold snap caused numerous problems. Bottas ended the second day of the second test in third, one place behind Hamilton on ultra-soft tyres. The Finn was half-a-second adrift of leader Daniel Ricciardo.

“We had decent temperatures so we could do some proper testing and learned a lot from today. We have some work to do to get more out of the soft compounds,” he added.

“I always enjoy trying to extract everything out of the car. But we still haven’t unlocked the full potential of the package we have, so there’s more to come.”