Pace-setter Bottas happy to have pushed car "closer to the limits"

22-02-2020 08:24
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Pace-setter Bottas happy to have pushed car closer to the limits

After setting the fastest lap in 2020 winter testing so far by some distance, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas admitted enjoying putting the W11 through its paces on Friday morning.

Bottas finished both Wednesday and Friday with the fastest lap while also lapping the Circuit de Catalunya well over 200 times. His best time, a 1:15.732, is only three-tenths off his own pole-setting time from 2019 and well over a second quicker than any other non-Mercedes (teammate Lewis Hamilton being 0.884 slower).

Ahead of a year where the Finn will look to add to his tally of seven Grand Prix wins and where he will continue to chase his maiden title, Bottas admitted he enjoyed his morning of running very much as he got to chase lap times.

“It’s been really fun today, especially getting to do some shorter runs and being able to push the car a little bit closer to the limits – seeing a little bit more of the performance of the car," the 30-year-old reflected after testing on Friday had finished.

“I enjoyed it and it felt really good out there. It feels like we made a step with the set-up since yesterday. The car is very driveable and I’m sure with some more hard work next week, we can make it better, which will be the goal.

“Overall, it’s been a really good first test, we have made some improvements every day with the car."

It is very unlikely Bottas will remain as lonely at the top by the end of the second week, when teams typically start dialling up their engines and focussing on one-lap pace.

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