Valtteri Bottas says the hardest thing to adapt to as a rookie driver in Formula One is the length of the race distances.
Bottas spent last year out of racing while he made 15 appearances in first practice sessions for Williams. Prior to that he competed in GP3 where races last around half an hour.
“The race distance is the toughest thing to adapt to in F1,” Bottas told the official F1 website. “The race is so much longer so you have to have a different approach.”
“In Formula Renault, in GP3 and GP2 you can just push flat out because the race is so short, but in F1 you need to be cleverer. You need to think about the tires, you need to be cleverer with the strategy, and you have a much bigger responsibility because of the sheer size of the team.”
Bottas says he has “inhaled the team culture” at Williams and believes they “see the talent in me, that I really can be something very good in the future”.
And he feels he is showing up well against his more experienced team mate, who he has out-qualified 4-2 so far this year:
“I think my performances relative to Pastor (Maldonado) have been pretty good. Pastor is experienced – it’s already his third year at Williams – and I would say that I match him more-or-less.”
“I can’t really point at one particular thing that I’ve learned from him, but of course you pick up things, especially at a track like Monaco that I didn’t know before this season. I was reading his data very carefully to see how he was doing it.”