Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Improved Mercedes feels “completely different” to pre-season tests – Bottas

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas said his Mercedes felt “completely different” compared to pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya after setting the pace on the first day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The world championship leader was three-tenths of a second quicker than the Ferraris in second practice at the track after Mercedes ran a series of upgrades on both their W10s.

“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,” said Bottas.

Mercedes had appeared to lag behind Ferrari during pre-season testing at the circuit, but Bottas said their car “felt really good today, completely different to how it was in winter testing.”

“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.”

Lewis Hamilton was less than five-hundredths of a second slower than his team mate. “Everyone worked really hard to bring the new package here and a huge amount of effort has gone in to it,” he said. “It seems like it’s working, but it’s hard to feel it because this track is so different to [Baku]. ”

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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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4 comments on “Improved Mercedes feels “completely different” to pre-season tests – Bottas”

  1. In these temperatures the soft tyre is not lasting one complete qualifying lap.
    Lewis set his quickest time when he was yellow in both sector 1 and 2 and then green in sector 3 means he saved the tyre in the first two sectors to attack in the last sector.
    Bottas too was 3 tenths off in sector 1 and then went on to set the quickest time at that stage of the session.
    So i think best strategy for the quickest overall lap is to not be quickest overall in any sector. Preserve the tyre in the first two sectors and then maximum attack for the last sector.
    Maybe some teams would try to set the Q2 lap on the medium tyre and some teams might be regretting not ordering more Hard tyres.

    1. Everything will change with F1,2 & 3 all laying down rubber all weekend long. Whoever adapts the best to constantly varying conditions, track temp, wind vectors, will get pole which will be a big step to winning.

    2. @amg44 Ferrari are fastest in sector 1. So it makes sense that Mercedes is not.

  2. How encouraging for us all

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