Valtteri Bottas has said that he is eagerly waiting the return of Formula 1 next weekend after setting the fastest time on the second and final day of the first official in-season testing period of 2018.
Bottas’s time of a 1 minute 16.904 seconds was just enough to beat Scuderia Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi to top spot at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver setting his fastest time on super-soft tyres as opposed to Giovinazzi finding his best performance on the hyper-soft compound.
Reflecting on Wednesday’s “interesting” running, Bottas said that Mercedes used data collated from last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as a baseline, working around the car balance that helped them score their first 1-2 of the 2018 season.
“Today was really interesting and we got through our programme fairly smoothly,” said Bottas.
“We had a good baseline from last weekend and used it to work on different set-ups, trying out bigger changes than we normally would on a race weekend.”
The Finn added that Mercedes used the resurfaced Catalunya track to collect more information on the altered Pirelli tyres that debuted at the Spain race. In order to combat overheating worries, the Italian suppliers reduced the tread depth by 0.4mm; they will return for the French and British grands prix this summer.
“We also tried to gather some information on the tyres,” he noted. “We will see similarly smooth tarmac at Silverstone and Paul Ricard.
“I enjoyed being back in the car today, I’m looking forward to being back in action next week in Monaco.”