Valtteri Bottas expects the battle between his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport and Scuderia Ferrari to be “really close” this weekend at the British Grand Prix.
The polesitter found himself three tenths of a second off the fastest time in both sessions on Friday as he finished second and third in the two sessions.
The Silverstone circuit has been resurfaced for this year and Bottas feels the new asphalt is offering a lot of grip to the drivers but offering a challenge with the bumps.
“The track is quite different compared to previous years – there’s a lot of grip from the new tarmac, but at the same time a lot of bumps.
“Luckily, it doesn’t seem to affect us in terms of performance, only the high-speed corners like Turn 9 or Turn 13 are a bit trickier.
“But it’s not a big issue since we also gained grip from the new tarmac.”
Tyres were a big issue for Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Austria and the Finnish driver felt he was able to get the soft compound working but expects the real test to be on Saturday against Ferrari in qualifying.
“We got the Soft tyres working okay; we experienced some overheating issues as track temperatures hit more than 50 degrees today, and we expect similar conditions on Saturday and Sunday.
“The Hard tyres felt more robust; it was a bit slower, but will go longer.
“The Ferraris look really competitive; I expect us to find more performance for tomorrow, but it is going to be really close.