Valtteri Bottas was excited to see Mercedes’ 2020 car, the W11, for the first time before taking it for a spin around Silverstone.
The Finn is going in to his fourth season with the Silver Arrows this year, and he will look to build on his strongest season to date which he delivered in 2019, taking four race wins and securing P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.
But this time around he wants to go one better and take that top spot from team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and Bottas believes 2019 was the perfect base for him to build upon.
“For sure it’s a good base to build from,” he told Mercedes’ YouTube channel before their Silverstone shakedown.
“It was a really positive season, lots of learning, and really I could feel the progress in lots of areas and working on my weaknesses together with the team so that’s why it has been nice to build on that.
“Always the winter is just a great opportunity to step back, look at the big picture, and take everything from the previous season, process it and learn, and improve. I look forward to it.”
Bottas was introduced to the W11 properly for the first time at Silverstone, and although he admits his calm persona can often hide his excitement, he assured everyone that he was delighted to finally meet Mercedes’ “weapon” for 2020.
“I am excited, maybe it doesn’t show, but always getting back to driving the Formula 1 car [is great],” he said.
“It’s always completely new machinery, nothing really is the same as previous cars so to get that feel of how the cars handles, the aero feeling, the engine, everything is exciting because that is going to be the weapon we are going to be using this year.”
When asked how long it takes to get to grips with a new car, Bottas said, with a smile: “One corner.
“No it takes some time, and the shakedown is more about debugging things and seeing how things actually run and getting the data out of it.
“The real work with the car starts then next week.”