Bottas: Looking after tyres a priority


Valtteri Bottas and Williams believe tyre wear will play a crucial role in the heat in Bahrain this weekend.

Williams are coming off a solid display in China with Felipe Massa and Bottas picking up 18 points between them after finishing fifth and sixth respectively behind the Mercedes and Ferrari cars.

The teams head straight to the Middle East for back-to-back races and conditions will be a lot different as temperatures will be much higher than at Sepang.

Bottas admits there won't be too many overtaking opportunities, but tyre degradation could make for an interesting race.

"The circuit offers the opportunity to overtake but it doesn’t make it easy so the drivers fight for every position," the Finn said. "The track surface is quite rough which has a huge effect on the tyres, so looking after them becomes a priority.

"This can lead to quicker cars being bunched up and we have to take every chance that is on offer to overtake. I really like the Middle East; the facilities are always fantastic so I am looking forward to heading back there."

Head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley also expressed the importance of looking after your rear tyres in the heat.

"The circuit is fantastic with very high traction demand making it tough for the engineers to ensure the car is good in qualifying, but looks after its rear tyres in race conditions," he said.

"The importance of controlling the temperatures in the rears is paramount. At the start of the weekend the track is quite dirty leading to increased tyre wear but this settles down and improves throughout the race."