“I’ve got full confidence”- Valtteri Bottas opens about the post-testing mood at Mercedes, projects his full confidence in pulling full recovery.
Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes gearbox issue was the first red flag for the people glued at their screens to know that Mercedes once again is not going to have ideal pre-season testing just like any other year.
But things went bad to worse after a string of setbacks for Mercedes, and on the other hand, their rivals Red Bull looked full of confidence in the whole meantime.
Reflecting on their situation, Bottas is confident about a comeback from the team and also claimed that Mercedes has managed to recover from the lost mileage.
“There are a few teams that beat us on pace, no doubt about it, with Red Bull way ahead of the competition, so we’ll have our work cut out for us if we want to be competitive right from the start of the season, he said to the SKY TV.
“You know we’re just sandbagging, right?” he joked before admitting, “the rear of the car was quite nervous, to start with, so we’ve been calming it down steadily, but we’re nowhere near where we want to be, and there’s a lot of work to be done before the start of Free Practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.”
The Finn then talked about his team’s immediate actions that have restored his confidence, though he insisted that he is not 100% happy with the car.
“It feels like we’ve made some steps forward. Obviously, there’s always more to find and more to gain, but I think we, from my feeling, went in the right direction, and it felt better.”
“Still not 100% happy with the car as you would never be this at this early stage of a season. We keep working; we keep trying to get the balance better and get the car to behave nicer and hopefully, that way, be faster.”
“It’s just completely unknown, where we are at the moment, you know, with three days of testing with the first day being compromised, it’s so hard to say, but we really focus on our work and try to be faster and faster.”
“We made a decent recovery. I can’t say that we fully achieved the mileage; we wanted to get into three days, but actually not that far off. On Saturday, I felt like we made 95% most out of it, and on Sunday, I would say 100% because we had an excellent day with a good amount of laps and quality laps and quality tests.”
“So, considering what happened, day one, day two, day three went, I’m pleased about that. But now it’s time to turn that data into performance somehow, in, the next two weeks before the race.”
“I’ve got full confidence the team will leave no stone unturned in the next ten days, and when we start practising for the Bahrain race, we’ll have almost all our issues solved.”
“This team is like no other, no detail is left unchecked, so I’m confident in the team and the car. It will be tight, for sure, Red Bull looks very strong, but we’ll be up there, in the mix,” he concluded.