Valtteri Bottas has admitted his move from Williams to Mercedes has been more disruptive than he thought it would be.
Williams is the only team Bottas has raced for in Formula One and his move to Mercedes came at short notice following Nico Rosberg’s unexpected off-season retirement.
“Changing teams is maybe a slightly bigger thing than I initially thought it would be,” Bottas said.
“But it’s not a hurdle that you can’t go over, it’s definitely possible, and I’ve been working since the announcement pretty flat out to get comfortable with everything and that’s why everything has run so far quite smoothly.
“I’m sure next week we will make big progress and still before Melbourne I have time to go back to the factory, analyse everything with the engineers, and I’m sure I’m confident we are going to be ready and I will be completely part of the team before Melbourne.”
Bottas described the differences he’s experienced in moving from Williams to Mercedes. “Being at the factory you realise some things, how the team is approaching simple things like debriefs, pre-event meetings, checklists and in terms of setting up the car with different perhaps mechanical approach the car itself.”
There can be many different things how you set up the car and getting very comfortable with those, because I’m that type of a driver that likes to understand everything what is going in the car and what is really affecting what.”
“Also on track the communication within the team, getting that absolutely perfect, that’s always going to take time. Like I said with how the car behaves there is still a bit more work to do with all the tools, adjusting the balance in the car with the steering wheel, there’s plenty more to experience and to learn.”
“When you add these together, plus trying to know the names of I don’t know how many people in the team – more than 800 in Brackley – there has been a lot of work and still work to be done. But not impossible and already feeling very good.”
However Bottas said he is “definitely feeling more comfortable and more part of the team every day”.
“I already feel good, for example this morning walking in having breakfast it felt normal so that’s a good feeling. Definitely a big difference to last week, this was the proper first time of working as a unit, as a team on track with the engineers, finding performance, which I learned very much from. I still think there is work to do.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year