While Mercedes continue to shun the limelight by opting to a rigid programme that involves accumulating mileage and ignoring lap times, during the second Formula 1 preseason test in Spain, Valtteri Bottas suggested that all is not well with the W10 and it’s not the first time he has had a moan.
Speaking to Sky F1 ahead of his stint in the car on Thursday afternoon,”We have some kind of balance issues we still need to solve, there are many things in the car we can still improve but I have faith in the team, we have been in difficult situations before with the car.”
Bottas also revealed that the W10 will be vastly different when it gets to Melbourne and said of a possible setback the World Champions may face between now and then, “Any obstacle, I think it’s possible to overcome.”
“I trust everyone is really making sure that, with the starting point for the season, we’re going to be in best possible shape for Melbourne. If it’s going to be enough to win races, that’s unknown at this point.”
Bottas went on to add that he felt thinks Ferrari are still ahead, with Mercedes and Red Bull closely-matched and hinted that the team will start their “shorter runs” and qualifying simulations, on the final day of testing on Friday.
The Finn completed 96 laps during his afternoon in the car, but was slowest of all, almost 2.5 seconds off the pace set by Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
Notably, Bottas opted to run the medium Pirelli C3 compound, while Leclerc had the softer and faster C5s bolted on during his table-topping run five minutes before the lunch break.