Valtteri Bottas is aiming for a “nice clean” weekend in China after an “unlucky” start to the season in Australia and Bahrain.
Despite scoring in both opening races, Bottas had to fight his way back through the pack, starting a lowly 16th in Melbourne – after losing out in the elimination qualifying format and also picked up a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change – and then two weeks ago he of course lost out and was hit with a drive-through penalty following the collision with Lewis Hamilton into Turn One.
“It has been quite a tough first couple of races and especially for me, unlucky things happening,” the Williams driver said.
“I'm just looking forward to getting a nice clean weekend and seeing what kind of results we can actually do with a proper weekend.
“It seems it is going to be a really tough year, very close. Ferrari and Mercedes are definitely further away now than the last two years. That is unfortunate, but we just need to keep trying to get closer and I think after that we are in that field of teams with Red Bull and Toro Rosso. They seem to be very close. So every single bit we can improve this season is going to make a big difference.”
Meanwhile, Bottas added that getting the tyre strategy right should get easier as the year goes on.
“I think we will learn a lot from every race weekend how the compounds are working and if the strategies are working or not. I am sure the tyre selections we are doing now is already much easier than what we had to do in the winter.
“Definitely everyone will improve and maybe we haven't maximised it yet, but I am sure we can do better,” he concluded.