Bottas expecting tricky tyre challenge
Valtteri Bottas is convinced he can pick up where he left off in Malaysia but is wary of the fact he was unable to get to grips with the hard compound tyre in Friday practice.
Williams seemed content to focus on longer runs on Friday as it tried to get to grips with the hard and medium tyres which have been brought to Sepang. Bottas does not believe his Friday performance, finishing tenth and ninth, is too revealing, but he admits that his struggle with the hard 'prime' tyre is a concern ahead of the weekend.
"It wasn't the best lap on the option tyre, there's definitely more to come," he said. "Like everyone we have some pace left for tomorrow. It's a normal Friday, mileage and trying different set-ups was the priority. For me it was more difficult to get the prime tyre to last as it was sliding all the way from the beginning. It never really worked, it was sliding and sliding and the tyres were wearing out. We need to look at the data but I think there's quite a big difference with the tyre compounds here. We had quite a few things tried and got some good data for the long runs. I think it should be interesting to see what people are going to do with the tyres, because it's a big difference between medium and prime. We can definitely still improve the car for tomorrow."
Bottas also admits Williams has identified several key issues it needs to rectify soon.
"I think we still need more downforce. In high speed corners other cars are quite a bit stronger. We have our own strengths but we need to focus on the weaknesses if we want to improve. At least like our straight line speed should be good in the race. I prefer the medium tyre, there is more grip overall. It wasn't really dropping more than the prime was. We still need to look more but at the moment that is the feeling. I think it's also the rear end exiting slow speed corners still needs work. There is still a lot of things we can improve on."