Spanish Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas says he feels the W10 has improved since pre-season testing, and that both cornering and overall balance is better.
Bottas led the way in both practice sessions on Friday, although was closely shadowed by Lewis Hamilton on the Soft tyre in FP2.
With Mercedes having introduced further aerodynamic updates to their car for Spain, Bottas was enthused after his day of topping the timesheets: “It’s always an interesting day when you’re bringing new parts to the car to get a feel for it and see if they bring the performance they should. The car felt really good today, completely different to how it was in winter testing, and it seems like our cornering performance has improved.”
“The balance around the lap is also better, so it looks like we’ve taken the right direction since the winter. Today was good, but it’s only Friday and Ferrari are very close. It feels like we’ve made a good step forward, but we need to wait and see what tomorrow holds.”
Andrew Shovlin said that the team recovered well from a morning oil leak on Bottas’ car, which resulted in no damage to the power unit: “We had an oil leak on Valtteri’s car in the first session which stopped us before he could do the long run at the end of the session. Fortunately, it doesn’t look to have caused any damage and we were able to get back out at the start of the second session. We also had quite a few new bits on the car here, so we’ll also be checking the data from those this evening to confirm it’s all functioning as expected.”
“It’s no secret that we weren’t very strong at the tests here in winter so we’re happy to have shown reasonable pace on short and long runs today. Valtteri has found the car a bit easier to work with today than Lewis but on both, there’s a few corners where it isn’t as together as we’d like and it’s making it a bit of a handful at time.”