Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes’ 2020 Formula 1 car “feels good” but has “weaknesses” to work on after conducting its initial run during pre-season testing.

Bottas topped the morning session on the opening day of winter testing at Barcelona and completed 79 laps behind the wheel of Mercedes’ W11, before handing over to teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton to compete the afternoon running.

Speaking after his first experience of driving Mercedes’ latest F1 car in anger, Bottas revealed there are still areas for the German manufacturer to work on, despite a trouble-free day so far.

“It was a good morning, we’ve done everything we planned,” Bottas explained.

“There were no issues and the car feels good. Obviously it can still be better but a really nice starting point.”

Asked if there were any noticeable weaknesses with the car, Bottas replied: "For sure it has weaknesses.

“This is a good track for testing because there’s all types of corners, high-speed corners, medium corners and a quite twisty last sector.

“Balance-wise, particularity in the speed range, we have some things to work on but that’s why we are here.

"Nowadays the simulation is so important and that’s why everything normally works so well straight out from the box,” he added.

"It’s so important. To be honest when we started with this car it was not that far away that we expected.

“Sometimes there is a bit of a difference from theory and real life but it’s getting closer.”

Six-time world champion Hamilton has already completed over 40 laps in the afternoon and currently leads the way, having set a lap time 0.020s faster than what Bottas managed in the morning.

Mercedes is looking to become the first team in F1 history to win seven consecutive constructors’ titles and seven world championship doubles on the bounce in 2020.

 

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