Bottas pleased with Williams upgrades

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Williams driver Valtteri Bottas has revealed his delight with the new upgrades for his FW35, stating that he can “feel the difference.”

“I could really feel the difference today running the updated bodywork. We saw some improvements immediately but we still need to work on the car balance to maximize the potential.

“Overall, we learnt a lot and it’s nice to see the work everyone has been doing at the factory having a positive influence on the car. It’s now up to us to get the lap time out of it.”

Throughout pre-season, the teams are constantly developing new upgrades for their cars, but the new parts are not always effective. Williams will therefore be pleased with the reaction from their drivers.

Bottas’ belief that the upgrades were beneficial was vindicated by his performance in the test session yesterday, where he finished fifth, just one place behind teammate Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan driver was more coy about the impact of the upgrades.

“We have some good data for the engineers to analyse now, so we will see. I was able to do a good time despite the limited running which shows that we are still improving.”

Like many of the teams, Williams will split the final day of testing between their two drivers. Maldonado will complete the morning session in the FW35 before handing over to Bottas in the afternoon.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
Dan Mullan/Getty Images
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

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The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.