Bottas downplays pace-setting lap time

Date published: March 9 2017

Valtteri Bottas has downplayed the importance of his pace-setting lap time from Wednesday’s running in Spain, adamant all that matters is where Mercedes are come Melbourne.

The Finn topped the timesheets at the Circuit de Catalunya on Day Two of the second test with his 1:19.310 that fastest time of this year’s pre-season test.

It not only beat his P1 from the first week of testing by almost four-tenths but it was a time that was good enough to secure pole position for the Spanish GP in every year since 2007.

“It was another good half-day in the car for me,” Bottas said.

“We managed to complete our programme as planned and I have to say that I felt much better in the car today with the changes we’ve made.

“We’re definitely making good progress as a team and I’m feeling more and more comfortable in the car every time I go out on track.

“We were focusing on shorter runs today. In the first part of the morning we did lots of aero tests to evaluate some upgrades and everything seems to be going in a positive direction. There’s still plenty of work to do so we need to maximise the next two days of testing.”

Bottas was quick to downplay Wednesday’s lap time, conceding that lap times count for very little during the pre-season.

“Fastest laps don’t matter in testing,” he added. “What matters is where you are when you get to Melbourne.

“I’m just pleased we managed to complete the full programme. I learned so much from today’s running. Now I’m just concentrating on tomorrow.”