Valtteri Bottas believes Williams has the potential to put pressure on Mercedes during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Both Mercedes cars were comfortably quickest during Friday practice at Spa-Francorchamps, with neither Williams able to get within a second of Lewis Hamilton's FP2 time. However, Bottas is confident Williams will improve on Saturday and feels it can then pressure Mercedes given a clean FP3 and qualifying session.
“I think we can be close,” Bottas said when asked by Crash.net
if it can challenge Mercedes. “It's always a bit of an unknown how much everyone can still improve from Friday through to Saturday, but if it goes quite normally we can be quite close. We do expect them to still be ahead but it's up to us tonight to have a good look where we can improve and the more the better.”
And Bottas said the gap to the leaders on Friday came as no surprise to either him or the team.
“Well we always knew that [Mercedes] still have more grip in the corners and every Friday they are quite far ahead but we know we still have some pace left for tomorrow and for Sunday so let's see how close we can get then but of course they are always going to have the upper hand.”
While happy with his car so far this weekend, Bottas added that he himself had some more time that he could find.
“It felt quite balanced immediately, but of course we improved it and it still can improve. Overall it's a good feeling and I'm quite happy with the poor lap I had with the option tyres because the time was still OK. So we know that from the car performance and also from my side there's still much more to come for qualifying.”