2 March 2014
Bahrain F1 test 2: Bottas confirms Williams pace
Valtteri Bottas proves once more that Williams will be a reckoned force from the start of the 2014 F1 season.
Valtteri Bottas is confident Williams is as prepared as it can be for the 2014 Formula 1 curtain raiser in Australia as he maintained the FW36's strong performance on the final day of testing.
After three tests and 12 days of on-track action, Williams head to the Australian Grand Prix almost certainly as a front runner following a consistently quick and reliable showing throughout testing.
Benefiting from its favourable Mercedes powerplant, though the consensus in the paddock suggests the factory Mercedes team has the upper hand overall, it was still Williams' Massa that ended the second Bahrain test with the fastest lap time overall.
Furthermore, Bottas, who took over from Massa on the final day, was similarly fast, setting the fourth fastest time overall (second on the day) and completing more laps than any other driver over the last four days.
“I think our final day of testing was very good, right up to a very unlucky failure just one run before the end. Overall, it was a still a good day as we had no other issues throughout and made a lot of progress with the car set-up. I think with this amount of testing we are as prepared for Melbourne as we can be. The team has done a great job and thank you also to Mercedes-Benz.
“We still need to work very hard in these next two weeks but I overall I'm happy with how testing has gone for us. As I didn't have the chance to do a quick time on the supersoft tyre today, I am looking forward to picking up where we left off when we get to Melbourne.”
Indeed, the mood within Williams – which scored just five points throughout the 2013 season – is buoyant heading to Melbourne, with chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson pleased with the progress made during a challenging pre-season period.
“It was another good day for the Williams Mercedes FW36 to bring winter testing to a conclusion here in Bahrain. We ran a similar programme with Valtteri as we did with Felipe yesterday, starting off with some chassis and aero tests this morning. We did some long runs after the lunch break to look at tyre degradation before moving on to a qualifying simulation.
“Towards the end of simulation, and before we were able to fit the supersoft tyres, we had a high mileage failure in the Internal Combustion Engine. With the number of laps we have put on it, it wasn't a big surprise but it was still a shame that Valtteri couldn't get that final chance to push.
“However, with an overall team total of 936 laps under our belt, we are still pleased that that is the only time the FW36 has stopped on track throughout testing. We end the pre-season running feeling very happy with the car, power unit, drivers and team. Everything is working together as it should and we are pleased with the direction that the team is going in.”
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