Valtteri Bottas expects Williams to find a solution to its Friday woes at Hockenheim after struggling to make its tyres last throughout free practice.
The Finn finished the afternoon session – where teams tended to focus on long-run performance – in 13th place, two ahead of veteran Williams team-mate Felipe Massa, as both drivers complained about rapid drop-off in the condition of their Pirelli rubber. With an ageing tarmac track surface, Hockenheim presents a very different prospect to the recently resurfaced Hungaroring, where the teams raced, with the same tyre options, last weekend, and Williams seems to have struggled more than some of its rivals, dropping away from the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari in the process.
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“For me, this was a pretty standard Friday and we were more or less where we should be, but the problem in the long runs was that, with both of the tyre compounds, there was big tyre wear,” Bottas confirmed, “There was no graining or anything like that, the surface of the tyres was going away pretty quickly. Of course from today to tomorrow, we can improve quite a bit, as we tend to do.
“It's looking pretty tight behind the top three teams but I'm confident we'll better than in Budapest, for sure. There we were eight or seventh only and I think we could be better than that here. I think over one lap our pace puts us more or less where we should be.”
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Both Bottas and Massa gave the latest front wing development an airing, run it back-to-back against the previous iteration.
“I think we need to have a good look at all the data [because], as we've seen before, there isn't that much of a difference between the two,” the Finn noted, “I'm sure we'll dig into the data tonight, but it was a pretty standard day.
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