Valtteri Bottas says initial feel of the Mercedes W11 is good

The Finn was given first honours of driving the new Mercedes

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas says his initial impression of the new W11 is good, after giving the car a shakedown at Silverstone on Friday morning.

Valtteri Bottas’s winter break is officially over, after the Finnish driver was given the honours of driving the W11 for the morning part of the Friday shakedown for Mercedes.

After speaking to waiting cameras, Bottas jumped in the brand new Mercedes W11 and drove out to complete his initial laps with the car before handing over to teammate Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon.

With total track time restricted to 100 kilometres for the day, Bottas said he was pleased to have gotten the chance to get an initial feel for the car ahead of testing.

“I just did my first few laps in the W11, it was pretty cool to be the first one to drive it.” Bottas said.

“Initial feeling is good and everything works – that’s a start. Nothing really wrong with the car at this point obviously as its just checking the systems and making sure everything works and getting the first feel for the car. It’s a good feeling, I’m sure there’s still lots of feedback I can give to the guys and lots of data to go through in the next few days before testing and to make some improvements before Barcelona.”

“But to see the W11 alive and the team has done so much work to get to this where we can just go straight out from the box. I’m really proud to be driving that and getting the feel and I’m proud of every team member. A good day and I couldn’t ask for a much better Valentine’s Day than this and now I’m looking forward to testing.”

Having taken part in some extra-curricular motorsport events over the winter, Bottas says he went through a very intensive winter training programme to prepare for 2020: “I think this has been my best winter training so far.”

“I did a lot of different training routines in different climate zones; I’m ready and prepared and I can’t wait for the new season to start. I actually did quite a bit of driving as well – from rally cars to dog sleds in the snow in Finland. This season is going to be really challenging, but I know that every single member of this team will give it everything to put us in the best possible position for the fight.”

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Thomas Maher

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