21 May 2015
F1 Monaco Grand Prix: Bottas still needs to get the soft tyre working
Saturday morning practice will take on greater importance for Valtteri Bottas and Williams after cool temperatures and rain affected Friday's running.
Valtteri Bottas admitted that the Williams team is struggling more than most after day one of the Monaco Grand Prix, as cool temperatures prevented the FW37 from switching its tyres on.
The Finn ended the day 13th overall, one spot behind team-mate Felipe Massa, as rain denied anyone the chance to bolt on Pirelli's supersoft rubber, but confessed that Williams hadn't yet got a handle on the soft prime tyre owing to the cooler-than-anticipated temperatures.
“In the morning, I struggled with the temperature of the soft tyres, as I just couldn't get them into a high enough temperature to make them work,” Bottas explained, “It was a bit better in the afternoon, but we still see that we're not where we should be. It was a shame we couldn't try the supersoft tyres because I think we could make them work a bit better.”
The Finn admitted that while, on the whole, his car wasn't handling too badly, Saturday's morning session would taken on more importance with just an hour to make improvements ahead of qualifying.
“I haven't seen any lap times and it didn't feel too bad,” he noted, “The main thing we did was to get some more data for the team. On Saturday, we really need to look at the tyres because we need to get the soft to work, then look forward to try the supersoft.
“This track is one of the most difficult and, if the tyres are too cold and the whole car is snappy, it is not easy to find the braking points. That is why FP1 was difficult. FP2 was better, but still we have work to do - we still have the supersoft to try and I think it should work better on our car than the soft. We missed the long run, so we missed some information about the tyres and how they behave on the long run, but FP3, if it is dry, we are still going to do our normal qualifying plan because that is what really counts here.”
Despite not feeling at one with the Williams, Bottas insisted that he would not be starting Saturday at a personal disadvantage to any of his rivals.
“It's the same for everyone with these conditions,” he reasoned, “It felt good in practice at the beginning and I know there is a lot more to come from my side. We are pushing a bit more and to optimise the tyres - that is the main thing.
“It is always nice to get the confidence, but it is not the end of the world.”
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