Valtteri Bottas says that the rear-end on Mercedes’ 2021 Formula 1 car is “quite snappy and unforgiving”.

The Finn posted the fastest time of pre-season testing so far as he set the pace on the second day of running in Bahrain on Saturday, while Mercedes made up for some of the early setbacks it encountered.

Teammate Lewis Hamilton had already admitted that Mercedes was struggling to find the “sweet spot” with its rear-end after spinning in the morning, and speaking at the end of his run, Bottas confessed that the W12’s rear is proving to be one of the team’s “bigger issues”.

“For sure it’s windier than we’ve had normally at the race but one of the bigger issues with the car is the rear end, it’s quite snappy and unforgiving,” 

“Topped up with the new tyres, they feel quite sensitive to the sliding so we’re trying to calm the car down a bit and that way get some more pace.”

Despite setting the headline-grabbing time on day two, Bottas is not getting ahead of himself about Mercedes’ chances.

Asked what he had read into his benchmark time on the C5 compound, the Finn replied: “It’s so difficult to say, I can’t be jumping around being happy to be first because it is only testing.

“As always, we are just focused on getting through our programme and maximising the learning.

“Not really looking at lap times, we have no idea what other people are doing. You never know what fuel loads people are running.

“Hopefully [by the] end of tomorrow, we will have a better idea of where we are, long runs etc, but it’s only testing.”

 

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