'Exactly to plan for Williams'

Friday 28-February-2014 05:42

Valtteri Bottas had no complaints after another marathon run during testing saw him cover 128 laps of the Sakhir circuit.

The Williams driver was the most productive on the opening day of the final test as he puts in the laps, including a race simulation in the afternoon.

The 24-year-old covered 692kms on the day and declared that Williams are on target for the first race of the season.

"We knew it could be difficult and we've had some problems, we've lost some days and some days we didn't do so much mileage. But now, my last two days have been exactly to plan and that should be our target," Bottas said.

"It gives confidence that we can run the car pretty much all the time without problems. On long runs, cooling-wise, everything has been on target."

The Finn's 1:36.184 put him second on the timesheets for the day, although it was some three seconds behind the best time set by Nico Rosberg last week.

This prompted Bottas to state that Williams still need to up the pace.

"We need to be focusing on how quick the car is not how easy it is but driveability-wise, I think this season there's more work to be done from pedal maps and also the engine side to make it more smooth with all the torque.

"There's a lot of different things, a lot more to set-up with this car than last year's."

He added: "The development this season will be very important - I think maybe more important than any season so far, for many years - so we must be in that race also, not just the first three races.

"I'm confident we can keep up. We have a stronger team than last year."

Pressed as to whether Williams could be in the points in Australia if they reach the finish line, Bottas said: "Possibly.

"We're still seeing many teams struggling to do long runs. For us, it's definitely possible to make a race distance in the first few races, so that should be our target.

Perhaps casting his mind back once more to the litany of Q1 exits last season, Bottas added: "But not only that: we need to do it as quickly as possible."

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