Valtteri Bottas insists that it was worth venturing out in the mixed conditions that blighted both free practice sessions at the Sochi Autodrom, despite a wet track limiting how much preparation could be achieved for the rest of the weekend.
The Finn admitted that he asked the Williams team to be able to go out, despite the surface in FP1 having been affected by a pre-session diesel spill and rain then arriving to soak half of the lap ahead of FP2. Bottas was eighth fastest in the morning session, where efforts to remove the spillage resulted in wet conditions midway through the lap, and thought he had done enough to top the wet-dry FP2 until both Sebastian Vettel and Williams team-mate Felipe Massa pipped him after the chequered flag.
“I asked if we could go [out], but it's always tricky when one of the sectors is nearly try and the other is wet,” Bottas revealed, “It's difficult to learn properly but I think we still learned something.
“The first session, everyone missed some track time and the track was not in very good condition, but it was the same for everyone. Then a wet practice two made things a bit tricky for everyone, but it wasn't too bad actually. We decided before the session that, if it was wet, we were still going to run because we had lots to learn and we tried different things with the set-up on both cars and it was not too bad a feeling. At least everything is working in the car – that's the main thing we know of – and tomorrow should be dry so then we can do proper testing.”
While Bottas was enthusiastically campaigning for track time, however, television cameras caught team-mate Massa catching 40 winks in the cockpit of his FW37.
“Today was a bit of a lost day, so I was sleeping in the car!” the Brazilian smiled, “It was a day where you could not do anything, so we just did a few laps in the wet. In the morning, we lost a lot, so it was not a very useful day.
“We maybe learned how the track is in the wet – it's quite slippery asphalt –but not everybody was on the track at the same time, pushing hard, so it was very difficult to compare.
“It was better to sleep...”