Valtteri Bottas says the new Williams FW36 matched his expectations after sampling the car for the first time on the opening day of winter testing.
It was a difficult day for Williams, with Bottas ending the day third fastest despite only completing seven laps. The team discovered an issue overnight that took most of the day to fix, delaying their running. However, the Finn did emerge from the team’s pit garage late in the afternoon to gather data and complete system and reliability checks.
“It wasn’t an ideal start to the day but the positive thing is that the team did a great job to fix the problems we found overnight and we got the car working well to complete a few laps this afternoon,” Bottas said.
“The car matched my expectations on track with more torque. It feels like a very different car compared to last year in the way it handles as well as the power. After only a few laps we found a few things we can improve which is also good, so we need to start working on those things tomorrow.”
Chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson said: “We had a few electrical issues today which, combined with needing to replace a sensor critical to the functioning of the Internal Combustion Engine, delayed our running.
“Despite this, we were able to complete a number of installation laps and one timed lap, and I now feel we are in good shape for tomorrow. The team have worked well to address the problems we had today and we are now focused on working through our programme for the remaining days.”
Bottas will remain in the car for the second test day, before handing the driving duties over to his new team-mate Felipe Massa on Thursday and Friday.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic