Bottas says new cars are more fun to drive

2014 F1 season

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The new Formula One regulations have produced cars which are more enjoyable to drive, according to Valtteri Bottas.

The Williams driver said the power delivery of the new engines made for a more rewarding style of driving.

“It’s a little bit more difficult, yeah,” he said after two days of testing in the FW36. “It is, definitely, with the torque, it’s just the power comes a little bit differently and you need a sensitive right foot for slippery conditions.”

“I really enjoy driving this car,” he added, “I really think it’s good fun and the power feels nice so no complaints in that.”

Bottas added the change to brake-by-wire suited his style of driving: “Obviously you’re harvesting more from the rear axle but at least with the Mercedes power unit it’s done very well, there’s been no problems with the braking.”

“The brake-by-wire pedal feel is a little bit different, quite a bit stiffer, which I like.

“We had a little braking system failure today which we managed to fix, it was not a big problem, just a small thing, and we know in the future how to operate it, so we learned that.”

Williams have switched to Mercedes engines having used Renault power last year. But although their former engine supplier has endured a troubled start to testing, Bottas said it was too early to judge who will have the upper hand when the season proper begins.

“I’ve nothing bad to say from Renault last year. We had the world championship engine so the co-operation with them was very good.”

“It’s too early to say [whether the change was for the better]. So far we’ve been very good with Mercedes, solving the problems very well and we need to keep continuing like this but I think we still need to wait a little bit and see the first races.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Bottas says new cars are more fun to drive”

  1. Really seems like Bottas is really enjoying himself and the new challenges this year. Although, this may change if the Williams is toward the back in Melbourne

  2. It would really be nice to see a Williams back up there in the mix, and I don’t particularly care which one – both even!

    1. I’m hoping for 2-3 Podiums, maybe.

      A win might be quite the stretch, but the could possibly salvage a third place in the right conditions.

    2. Agreed. That would be great.

    3. Mark my words – Massa will win the Championship this season.

      1. Haha, you have no idea how happy that would make me!

  3. Imagine driving 2014 cars in heavy rain. Now that would be quite something!

    1. FIA would never allow it, they don’t like fun.

      1. This :(

  4. Welcome words from Bottas. The new power plants are likely to reward some drivers more than others. Glad Bottas is happy.

    1. I saw Guttierez saying something much like it, enjoying the feeling of abundant power out of the corners and having to control it (and what Button mentioned about the car feeling more powerfull amounts to much the same), so let us hope that it will make driving a bit more trickier and we can see driver mistakes and attempts to take advantage of them on track again @bullmello!

  5. Is harvesting only from the rears or also front? Or only front?

    1. “… you’re harvesting more from the rear axle …” seems to imply both.

      1. I thought it implied only the rear axle, as in “more than last year” (more battery to charge).

        In any case I’m 95% sure it’s only the rear axle. Mostly because the front wheels don’t have any sort of axle to use to.

        1. bring back the V10's
          29th January 2014, 22:43

          Yes they only harvest off the rear axle, but this year the rear brakes are electronically aided to smooth out the harvest.

    2. Only the rear, imagine fitting a generator on each front wheel! This will also mean that rear brakes will need far less cooling than before, some teams will even be running rear brake ducts without holes in them.

    3. The harvesting is not attached to the wheels, but to the engine side, so definitely only rear-axle harvesting.

      “You’re harvesting more…” implies that they are harvesting more energy than last year, not that they harvest from somewhere else than the rear axle. And they are harvesting more, because the new rules allow for much, much more energy to be used for power each lap, so that energy needs to come at least partially from regenerating braking (in addition to the MGU-H regeneration unit attached to the turbo).

  6. Are Finns the only people who don’t seem to moan about the new regulations?

    1. They’re nature’s rally drivers, SIDEWAYS

  7. With all this talk about the back-end sliding around, one wonders which drivers the new formula may suit best. In terms of drivers who tend to relish cars that slide around, I immediately think of Hamilton, and Raikkonen because of his karting days. Who might struggle? My first thoughts would be Button, and perhaps Vettel, as he’s been so used to the exhausts sticking the rear of his Red Bull to the ground.

    1. Raikkonen was looking confident today. If you watch some videos of the cars going round some of the slower corners, they sound so different to what we’re used to!

    2. Its as much vettel’s right foot as it is the Red Bulls good traction that ‘stuck’ his rear end to the ground last year and before. I don’t think the new cars requiring fine throttle control is going to hurt Vettel, quite the opposite in fact….

      1. I remember Mark Webber saying quite some time ago that the need to be more careful with the throttle would only be advantageous for Vettel since he is some sort of specialist in this sort of fine use of the car.

    3. Well I remember Button coming back to win Euro Championship (dont think it was world) in karts after first corner spin. But yeah, he is a different guy now :)

  8. Unless I misread it (do forgive me), Bottas used the word ‘more’ at one point, and said that they are ‘fun’, but he never said they are ‘more fun’.

  9. He enjoy it. Very interesting.

  10. “Brake by wire” made me a bit worried or is it a hybrid system with both electric and hydraulic breaking? Wouldn’t be nice to find yourself without breaks due to electronics traveling in those speeds. Or maybe they the break pads are spring loaded so in a failure the breaks will be automatically applied. Of course a hydraulic system may fail as well.
    The 100+kg break paddle pressure is no longer needed then neither and could be set up according to drivers wishes.

    1. The front brakes will still be hydraulic. The brake by wire system only applies to the rear brake circuit.

  11. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    30th January 2014, 2:30

    I know it’s probably too early to say this, but I can’t help but feel that now that Williams have Mercedes engines, they should have a very good year.

    I hope so anyway.

  12. David not Coulthard (@)
    30th January 2014, 10:21

    If only the fuel tanks were bigger…….Or perhaps I’ve got to wait for melbourne before judging that?

    1. Don’t judge it on Australia – that is one of the more fuel guzzling tracks on the calendar @davidnotcoulthard. Lets see at least the first 3-4 races.

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