Bottas: First run in FW35 ‘put a smile on my face’

2013 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Valtteri Bottas says the new Williams already feels like an improvement over the previous car.

“I had a smile on my face after the first proper run and that was purely because I feel we have made an improvement from last year,” he told media in Barcelona.

“It’s difficult to judge how big is the improvement but there is an improvement, you can really feel it and the team can see it in the data.”

Bottas agreed with team mate’s Maldonado’s view that the new car is easier to drive than its predecessor.

“The car is straight out from the box pretty good to drive. For sure Pastor did some set-up work yesterday but for him everything started really well. It was nice to get to work with the new car and do the testing today. We did plenty of different aero testing in the morning and long runs in the afternoon.”

“As a package, the whole package feels better but one area I could point where it’s better is rear end cornering grip. That’s the main thing, and getting well out from the corners, traction and the rear grip. That has improved and I think also in the long runs that will help us.”

Bottas added that running the old car at the Jerez test had helped them suss out some of the challenges presented by the new Pirelli tyres:

“We’ve worked quite a lot with the car set-up to find ways to get through the race distance and when we do the race simulation it will be nice to see if we can make it to the end. Or if anyone can make it with less than three stops.

“But we’ve been working on it and we’ve already found some tricks and things for it.”

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16 comments on “Bottas: First run in FW35 ‘put a smile on my face’”

  1. This guy seems like such a breath of fresh air – you get the no-******** Finn attitude but he’s just like a big kid at heart! Looking forward to seeing what he can do this season.

  2. I said it before….. This is going to be this year´s DARK HORSE!!!
    Good for Williams!!!

  3. Looking good for Williams so far. They were already pretty competitive last year (a few times on the leaders’ pace). They’ve got a better driver line-up this year (Bottas probably faster than Senna, and Maldonado seemingly being consistent and clever of late), and the car apparently better. I think they could be very strong this year, possibly fighting for the win a few times.

    1. But what about the illegal exhaust !? will the back-end be as attached without that tweek?

      1. Whilst i have no doubt that it makes a difference, I wouldn’t have thought they’d take a risk as to design the whole car around it or anything

    2. Bottas may be a future world champion (who knows?) but he’ s still a rookie. So maybe he won’t be as fast as Senna would be in a second season with Williams. Who knows?

  4. I really hope Williams will be one of the surprises of 2013. The car looks amazing, and to hear that its characteristics are better than last year, that´s fantastic!

  5. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Williams can do this season. I hope they can build on 2012 and start climbing back up the ladder, it would be great for the sport.

  6. Sounds a bit like what Jenson Button said about his first go in the Brawn…be very afraid!

    1. Oh if only! As a williams fan I would be ecstatic!

      As it is though its good to see them being really thorough with their testing. Testing their old car at the first test to get a good feel of the tyres, then they’ve been testing every visible variation it seems. We’ve seen them with both this years and last years nose/front wing, with and without the vanity panel, with and without the monkey seat and I have no doubt they’ve been testing a hell of a lot more. They’ve been racking up the laps after all.

  7. Fantastic to hear this from him.

    I’ve been following him for a few years now. He used to drive in the online racing sim Live For Speed, and I drove some races against him. We even exchanged a “good race” a couple times. Now I’m seeing him as a full-fledged F1 driver; it’s really exciting. I’m a big fan of his already and I hope he does well this year.

    1. @lateralus

      Are you serious ? How did he ever find the time!!??

      I play offline — can you tell me his lap times on Town Course reverse (Bf1)? What did he say about LFS? I’ve always considered it as the most realistic sim I’ve ever used – to hear that an F1 driver used it is really interesting !

  8. Good to hear this from Bottas. I would love for Williams to win in Melbourne and get their season off to a flyer. This team deserves its redemption and I think we deserve to see a team upset the apple cart and seriously challenge Red Bull and Ferrari. Their win in Barcelona last year was an achievement, but it will be easily forgotten if this season echoes Williams’ disastrous 2011 campaign. Back in 1998, fellow Finn and double champion Mika Hakkinen made a simular statement to Bottas after driving Adrian Newey’s new McLaren. All about having a smile on his face from the offset, knowing that he had a rocketship of a race car underneath him. How great, how great, it would be to see Sir Frank Williams at the sharp end again. All the best lads and good hunting.

  9. “We’ve worked quite a lot with the car set-up to find ways to get through the race distance and when we do the race simulation it will be nice to see if we can make it to the end. Or if anyone can make it with less than three stops.

    hmm..interestingly Perez was talking about a seven to ten pit stops for Melbourne given the current tyre wear rates.Off course the situation can improve before Melbourne but I think Williams have found the sweetspot already.Good news for fans is we get to see more pitstops.

  10. Good to hear someone being positive about how they see the tyres and getting to grips with them. If the Williams is a solid car, I hope we can see them really go for podium fights regularly so the racing gets even more intense!

  11. For sure Pastor did some set-up work yesterday but for him everything started really well.”

    Yes, with his use of that syntax-clunking time-honoured cliché, Bottas has proven himself truly to be an F1 driver!

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