Valtteri Bottas has admitted the hotly-contested midfield pack is closer to Williams than the team predicted after pre-season testing.

The Williams driver battled his way to eighth place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after being caught out in the elimination qualifying session.

Bottas feels the rather unique setting of Albert Park, plus the qualifying shambles, and its track characteristics gave an unclear picture on the F1 running order and despite the likes of Force India, Toro Rosso and Red Bull being further forward than expected, he wants to reassess the race pace in Bahrain.

"I think it's going to be very close," Bottas said. "Closer than we had thought but we also don't want to draw too many conclusions after one race. Let's see what happens in a Bahrain, in a more normal track, but we definitively need to be pushing with the development of the car. Hopefully the new bits we'll have for Bahrain will help.

"We got points with both cars and that's good but obviously 8th place is not satisfying, but points are points and they can be very important at the end of the season."



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