Valtteri Bottas has described how his Mercedes feels as if it’s “bending and flexing” through the corners at Circuit de Catalunya having caught the eye during a blistering race simulation on the penultimate day of F1 testing.

The Finnish driver didn’t target any lap records at the F1 testing venue, while Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel punched in a new circuit record of 1m 17.182s on Pirelli’s new hypersofts, but that was because Mercedes opted not to run on the softest compound as it is likely to be unrepresentative at the Spanish circuit.

However, Bottas did catch the eye with his race simulation pace in the Mercedes W09 on Thursday which showed glimpses of up to a second quicker than its Ferrari and Red Bull rivals. While the Finnish driver played down the times comparisons given the unknown fuel loads and circumstances each team was running at, he did remark at how fast and planted his F1 car felt through high speed corners at the Spanish circuit.

“I’ve never driven anything like that,” Bottas said. “It was the same last year here but now again, they’re so much quicker, quicker than before especially the grip in the high-speed corners.

It’s just amazing, Turns 1, 2 and 3. Turn 9, you go so quickly you feel the whole car. It’s like bending and flexing - an amazing feeling.

“It definitely feels a better car but like I said last week, we need to be also careful with the new tarmac here it makes the track a bit quicker so for sure the car will feel with more.”

Bottas accepts if his feeling in the Mercedes does fall away in a similar style to his mid-seaosn dip in form from last year he will have to adapt to the W09 rather than expecting the car to come to him.

“What I felt so far with the handling of the car and the balance in general, how it behaves, it definitely hasn’t gone in the wrong direction,” he said. “I think we’ve made some improvements, the balance is more together.

“For my driving style if it suits more? I think it’s up to me to adjust the car. It’s been a good beginning with the new car.”