Valtteri Bottas insists it is "not crucial" that Williams at least matches the development rate of the teams around it at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Williams has started the season in impressive form but having yet to finish on the podium it is in danger of seeing its best chance of a top three finish slip away. However, with the team confident it can keep up with the front runners in terms of car development, Bottas says Williams won't panic if it loses ground this weekend.

"It's an important weekend but I don't see it as crucial," Bottas said. "I still think it's a long season and this season especially with all the new regulations then development is going to continue for the whole season. So it's important but it's not crucial. Of course we get some kind of idea how much people can improve but for us we are really aiming nearly every race to bring something new, so it's not only this race."

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To that end, Bottas feels the Circuit de Catalunya will not suit the FW36 as much as some other tracks.

"For sure it's not the best. Normally for us the longer straights there are should be better because that's been our strong point, and we know that still aerodynamically we are not the best. So it's not the best, but there are more difficult places for us than this one."

With Bottas sitting out FP1 to be replaced by Felipe Nasr, he doesn't feel it will hamper his or Williams' progress.

"We still have both cars driving in FP1; you can try different things in different cars and you still get all the data. I do FP2 and if some results are not clear we can try again but I don't see any problem really proving the updates, we should immediately know after FP1 if they are good or not."