Valtteri Bottas believes that Williams has made a big step towards Ferrari in the battle to be second-best on the Formula 1 grid after splitting its cars once again in yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Bottas executed a two-stop strategy well to finish fourth ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the race on Sunday, edging out the Finn by just seven-tenths of a second at the checkered flag.
For the second race in a row, Bottas managed to split the Ferrari drivers, and is confident that Williams has made up some ground on the Italian team.
“It was a really positive race overall because we are much closer to Ferrari than any other race so far,” Bottas said. “The updates we brought here were small but it seems like we are definitely doing the right things.
“We are not too far away. The gap to Sebastian [Vettel] in the end of the race was smaller than any other race so far this season.
“We have closed the gap here a little bit but we still need more updates if we really want to fight with them for race pace. They are on the way and we just need to make sure we are improving more than them.”
Teammate Felipe Massa was unable to fight with the Ferrari drivers thanks to a three-stop strategy, but the Brazilian took courage from Bottas’ result.
“It was a good race for the team, scoring 20 points, not losing too much to Ferrari, but also getting a lot more than Red Bull which is really important and positive for our championship position,” Massa said. “I managed to overtake cars on the first lap and then fought hard with Kimi for a long time, which was hard on the tires.
“Because of the extra degradation a three-stop race was better for me today, but it meant the others were too far ahead. We finished with one car in front of a Ferrari so we have shown that we can be competitive with them and we can now look forward to Monaco which will be a very different test for the car.”