Bottas topped both practice sessions ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Friday at the Sochi Autodrom.

Historically, it has been one of Bottas’ strongest tracks - winning in 2017 and 2020 for Mercedes but he also leading in 2018 before being ordered to move over for Hamilton to benefit him in the title race against Sebastian Vettel.

Reflecting on his Friday, Bottas said: “It could always go better, but if you look at the lap times and based on the feelings, it was a good day. From the first run I had good confidence with the car, the balance was actually very good, so all we had to do were minor adjustments during the day.

“I could really just focus on the driving and finding small gains here and there. But I’d say that both in the short and the long runs I was pretty comfortable.”

Heavy rain is forecast for Saturday with suggestions that qualifying could be postponed if conditions are as bad as feared.

Bottas is confident Mercedes will have the pace if it is a dry race but conceded that tomorrow is going to be “a different kind of day”. 

“There is more to come, but I think tomorrow is going to be wet, so it’s going to be a completely different day,” Bottas added. “At least we had in FP1 some decent long runs, and the main thing is that the car feels good in the long runs, which is important for Sunday when it could be dry. I think tomorrow is going to be a different kind of day.

“Of course we can always improve things but, overall, everything worked fine. We’ll still work hard tonight.”