Bottas doesn't count out Ferrari just yet: "Last year we struggled in testing"

05-03-2020 16:20
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Bottas doesn't count out Ferrari just yet: Last year we struggled in testing

Mercedes star Valtteri Bottas is not yet counting out rivals Ferrari from the title race despite their poor showing in pre-season testing in Barcelona, with the Finn comparing it to 2019 when Mercedes themselves were subpar in pre-season but eventually won a double championship.

It was an unfamiliar sight, seeing Ferrari not being the pacesetters at pre-season testing. The Italian works team had been the quickest at the Circuit de Catalunya for four straight years, although Mercedes would end up running away with the double championships in all of those years as the Silver Arrows now have six consecutive double titles.

Bottas himself had the quickest lap of testing in 2020, a lap time which he set in the first test, but with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Ferrari still within striking range, the Finn doesn't want to underestimate anyone.

“We felt last year that we struggled in testing but then we were in strong form in Melbourne,” the Finn said on Thursday in Barcelona when asked about Ferrari's seemingly slow pace.

“So you just never know what kind of packages teams are bring to the first race from testing.

“Even from testing times, it’s tricky to read. I still think it’s going to be three teams challenging at the beginning of the season for the wins. Me and Lewis will be up there hopefully as well.”

Red Bull seem like the closest contenders to Bottas' Mercedes (apart from Lewis Hamilton), but when pressed on whether it will just be him and the Brit fighting for the championship again like it was last year, Bottas doubled down.

“For sure it will be between me and Lewis, but also other teams and drivers. At testing, it’s impossible to draw detailed conclusions [over] where you are.”

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