Valtteri Bottas felt his morning session around the Baku Street Circuit was much better than the afternoons offering, with the Finn feeling his W09 lacked pace compared to their main rivals.
Bottas took his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport machine to top spot during the first session but was only fourth in the second session, more than three-quarters of a second down on pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo.
The Finn feels the team has a lot to do overnight to cure the balance issues that affected their Friday and help close the gap to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari.
“FP1 was better than FP2 because I think we were missing a bit of pace in the second session compared to Ferrari and Red Bull,” said Bottas. “It was quite difficult to get a lap together, even my best lap today was a bit a messy.
“It’s not an easy car to drive at the moment, we have some work to do with the balance. But if we get everything right, the car is quick. We have plenty of things to look at tonight so that we make the right changes for tomorrow and Sunday.”
With the race being held much earlier in the year than normal, Bottas admits there is concern within the team about the wind around the Baku circuit, which is set to strengthen across the rest of the weekend.
“The fact that we’re here in Baku earlier than in previous years definitely affects the tyres, but the biggest concern is the wind,” said Bottas.
“It’s supposed to be very windy tomorrow and on Sunday which makes a lot of a difference on a street circuit.”