Whereas Valtteri Bottas finished second in the first free practice session, the Mercedes driver had to settle with a P5 in the afternoon. In 2020, it was often one-twos for the German racing team on Friday, but that no longer seems to be the case. Bottas is moderately satisfied with his first day in Bahrain.
“First of all, it felt better than testing in terms of how the car was feeling, etc. So that is good but also it felt like we were still not there with the car balance atleast it was a trouble-free day and no issues,” Bottas told Sky Sports in an interview after the second free practice session in Bahrain.
Pole positions and GP victories were strung together last year, but how different will it be in 2021. “The main thing in my mind is that we still have work to do if we want to fight for pole and the win. I think the inconsistency and the balance especially the rear was one big highlight in terms of setup approach we tried to make it better,” explained the Finn.
Bottas feels McLaren strong
The setup of the W12 is not yet quite as Mercedes would like it to be. “But it’s not quite what we want it to be but we are working on it. We still have tonight and tomorrow to figure it out. The last long run we did was pretty inconsistent and we couldn’t put laps together. It’s Friday and that is why we are practicing. We are definitely in the mix. McLaren look strong today, and Red Bull as expected. I don’t think we are the fastest but we are not far off and we have a clear target. We will see tomorrow,” Bottas said.