17 April 2014
Chinese GP: More to come from Williams F1, says Bottas
Valtteri Bottas is bullish about Williams' prospects this year and has said that while they have had a good start to F1 2014, they can still do better.
Valtteri Bottas reckons there is more to come from Williams, especially if they have a really 'perfect' weekend.
After an abysmal season in 2013, the Grove-based outfit has been extremely competitive this year with the Mercedes-powered FW36 and to date Bottas has notched up 18 points, finishing fifth in Australia and eighth in both Malaysia and Bahrain.
“I think overall we need to be happy with the amount of points we have after three races,” he told reporters, including Crash.net, ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, round four in the 2014 F1 World Championship. “On average we have ten points per race. It has been really positive start for us. We are consistently in the points. It is much, much better than last year. But I think there is still more to come from us if we can get a really perfect weekend – more good points to come maybe.
“We just need to keep up now in the development race and keep bringing new bits and pieces that work.”
“Good [so far], but we can still do better,” he summarised.
Asked about the progress at Williams, and if he can feel the 'new wind' blowing through the squad, he replied: “Yeah, I can. I have been here since 2010, when I was the test driver. This season is definitely the best - Williams is at its best now in terms of the time I have been here. With all the new people and all the right people coming in, and many changes being made, and how people work at the factory and communicate with the race team, and everything, it is much, much better now.
“Last year we started to see already [the improvements]. Pat [Symonds] joining us was good. I think one of the biggest single changes is that Pat joined us. He has been able to make a lot of changes to the team. That was very, very positive.
“But it was difficult to make any big improvements to the car in 2013. Now this season, from any previous years, it is a big step and I think that is because there has been more things and changes happening within the last one or two years. Now we can really start to see it in the car performance.”
Bottas also said the decision to go with Mercedes engines has been good.
Meanwhile, he expects ex-Ferrari man Rob Smedley to help push them forward: “His first race was only in Bahrain and he stayed for the test too. I think so far he is settling in really well. Of course he is still experiencing how the team works. There are always some differences from his past team and this team. I think Bahrain was more a case of seeing how the team works and getting into the way we work,” he noted.
“[But] about him, my first impression is very good. He has obviously got a lot of experience and already some ideas from his experience and what we can do better. I am really looking forward to working with him a bit more. He is a good addition to the team and the engineering group.”
Finally, asked if the race in Shanghai will give the best indication that Williams can keep up, Bottas said it is still 'too early': “It is a long season. Once we get to Europe we will start to see, from Spain onwards. If we can see improvements here from our side, it will be very positive. But if not, we cannot get upset.
“We must keep working, but I have confidence and I have faith we can be really strong all season,” Bottas concluded.
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