Valtteri Bottas was pleased by a surprisingly strong showing from Williams during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday, but believes that there is still more time to be found.
Williams traditionally opts for an alternative practice programme on Fridays, waiting until Saturday’s FP3 and qualifying sessions before displaying its low-fuel one lap pace.
Bottas bucked this trend during FP1 and FP2 in Bahrain by finishing third and fifth in the respective sessions. However, the Finn remains cautious heading into the rest of the weekend.
“It has been a good Friday,” Bottas said. “The car feels good but it’s only Friday so it is hard to compare us against our competitors.
“We are still focusing on tire performance in a race situation and have made progress, especially with the option tire, although I think there is a bit more performance to find.
“We look quite strong for qualifying, but the race pace is important and we need to work hard tonight on this area.”
His teammate, Felipe Massa, enjoyed a more routine Friday by finishing tenth in both sessions, but said that he failed to get his setup right.
“I struggled with the balance of the car today but the team have shown there is good pace,” Massa explained. “We need to work hard tonight and make the right changes to get the car balance right, and then show the pace that Valtteri has shown today.
“We have also been working on tire performance and have certainly made steps in the right direction.”
You can watch qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix live on CNBC from 11am ET on Saturday.