• First Barcelona Test, Day Two

Bottas pleased with FW35's improved traction

ESPN Staff
February 20, 2013 « Live Barcelona testing | Force India in no rush to name second driver »
Valtteri Bottas was sixth quickest on day two at Barcelona © Sutton Images

Valtteri Bottas said he "can really feel" the performance improvement on the new Williams FW35 and says the car is clearly better on traction.

Pastor Maldonado was enthusiastic about the new car after he gave it its testing debut at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday, and Bottas was similarly encouraged. Having completed 98 laps he said that the car was a clear improvement on last year's, with its main gain coming at the rear in low-speed corners.

"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," Bottas said. "It's difficult to try and speak when I think everyone has improved so it's difficult to say how big the improvement is but there is an improvement and you can really feel it and the team can see it in the data.

"The car is straight out from the box pretty good to drive. For sure Pastor did some set-up work yesterday but even for him it started out pretty well … As a package, the whole package feels better but one area I could point out that it feels better is rear-end cornering grip, that's the main thing and getting out from the corners well; traction and rear grip has improved and I think also in the longer runs that will help."

With Williams having focused on understanding the 2013 tyres at Jerez, Bottas said the team had "some tricks" to help the tyres last longer.

"We've worked quite a lot with the car set-up to find ways to get to the race distance and finally when we do the race simulation it will be nice to see if we make it to the end or not! Or if anyone can make it with less than three stops! But we've been working a lot and we've already found some tricks and things for it."