• Malaysian Grand Prix

Bottas aiming to stay close to Maldonado

ESPN Staff
March 21, 2013 « No extra pressure on Lotus - Raikkonen | Bianchi promises there is more to come »
Valtteri Bottas finished 14th in Melbourne last weekend © Sutton Images
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Valtteri Bottas says he wants to stay close to his team-mate Pastor Maldonado throughout the start of the season.

With Williams struggling with its new car in Australia, Bottas outqualified his team-mate and then Maldonado crashed out of the race. Although he had the more successful weekend in Melbourne, Bottas said his team-mate was likely to be a tough competitor during the early races and his target is to try and make sure he stays close to Maldonado regardless of the car's performance.

"I prefer it; Pastor is a very good reference," Bottas said. "He's a quick driver, it's his third year at Williams now so definitely for me it's good to compare to him and good to see from him if I have some things to improve. Hopefully we will be close and hopefully I can keep up at the beginning of the season and try to improve and then get better, but he's definitely a good reference and I prefer that."

Looking back on his grand prix debut Bottas said he was pleased with his own performance even if he knows Williams is far from happy with the car.

"I learnt a lot from my first grand prix, it was tough but it was nice to see everything went without any bigger problems. Of course we would have liked to finish the race in a much higher position and everyone was expecting much more from us, including us, so from my side I think it was not a bad first race but definitely we didn't finish where we wanted.

"I'm not going to go in to details now but we understand better what went wrong. The car has potential, the performance is there we just have to get it out really and for this grand prix already we think we can fix some things so we will see tomorrow a little bit more where we are."