Valtteri Bottas has described the sensation of driving this year’s Formula 1 car as an “amazing feeling”.
Formula 1 introduced faster and wider cars in 2017, while the year-on-year development, softer tyre compounds and the new track surface at test venue Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has led to quicker times this season.
While Mercedes has shied away from setting headline-grabbing times, owing to its lack of Hypersoft tyres and preference of running longer stints, Bottas revelled in the feel of this year’s machinery.
“They’re so quick, I’ve never driven anything like that,” beamed Bottas.
“It was the same last year here but now again, they’re so much quicker, quicker than before especially the grip in the high-speed corners.
“It’s just amazing, Turns 1, 2, 3. Turn 9, you go so quickly you feel the whole car. It’s like bending and flexing - you know, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Bottas added that Mercedes is expecting three teams – itself, Ferrari and Red Bull – to be in the mix for this year’s title, but reckons the reigning champions have established a solid platform with its W09.
“We definitely think it’s going to be a three team battle this year which is always good for Formula 1 and good for us as well to have some clear targets and someone always to push us forward to make us work harder,” he said.
“I think consistency is definitely going to be the key.
“It’s a long season ahead and with the weaknesses we saw last year with the car, for example in Monaco or Singapore. We’ve tried to make those things better and then through the season we can be more consistent. We will find out.
“At least here in Barcelona the balance is a bit more together than last season.
“We’ve had no big issues, balance in the car and setting up the car, but it’s only one track so we will find out over the season.
“There will be tracks, there will be days that it’s always going to be a more difficult car to drive and we just need to find the ways, I need to find the ways to get around it.”
Source : https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/17229