• Williams

Bottas upbeat despite tyre blanket malfunction

ESPN Staff
October 10, 2014 « McLaren looking close - Hamilton | Ricciardo prepared for damage limitation »
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Valtteri Bottas says he was able to make up for lost time on Friday after a bizarre moment in FP1 when his car's tyres overcooked due to a malfunction with the tyre blankets.

Bottas was limited to just nine laps in the morning session at the Sochi Autodrom due to a faulty tyre blanket, but managed to make up for lost time in FP2 with an extended run. He was also the highest-placed Williams in sixth, a boost for Saturday's qualifying session, though he admits he was left scratching his head about the incident which curtailed his morning run.

"It's the first time that's happened, but I suppose those things can happen," Bottas said. "It didn't hurt as a whole day as I still got a lot of laps in FP2, in fact we drove more in that session because of the problems in the morning. In fact we completed the same amount of laps for the whole day [as planned]. I think we still need to investigate it a bit more."

Felipe Massa had a much smoother day overall in the other car - finishing seventh on his afternoon qualifying simulation - and thinks Williams has room for improvement on Saturday.

"I think it was a good Friday for us," Massa said. "The car showed to be competitive, showed to be consistent, I was pretty happy with the balance. It was just the first day but it was a good day, I hope it's the first impression of a very good weekend for us.

"I think the car was good, I hope maybe we can get a bit stronger. We will have to wait and see tomorrow where we are compared to the others but I think it was definitely a good feeling straight away from the car."

With tyres clearly taking a few laps to reach their optimum Massa thinks there are still valuable lessons to be learned from the track on Saturday.

"I don't think you really need to think about the set-up changes because the track is improving a lot more than you could improve on the set-up. I think we need to wait to see the improvements on the track to understand exactly where to work on the set-up. I think the balance was more or less OK today, we were struggling a bit more in the morning but it was much better in the afternoon. It's something to improve for tomorrow but it's not too bad."

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