Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he expected more from Williams’ 2015 Formula 1 car, but remains determined to lead the team to more podium finishes across the second half of the season.
Bottas scored 79 points in the opening 11 rounds of the campaign, picking up a solitary podium finish at the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
After finishing third in the 2014 and finishing the season as the second-fastest team, Williams had been hoping to battle for race wins and greater successes this year.
However, the team has struggled to better its form from last season, scoring just two podiums in total. At this point in 2014, it had four to its name.
Writing in his post-Belgian Grand Prix blog, Bottas admitted that Williams had been expecting to make a greater step forwards than it has in 2015, but affirmed his belief in the team.
“There’s no reason why Williams shouldn’t be able to be fight with Ferrari and Red Bull,” Bottas said.
“I do admit we expected more from this year’s car, particularly in the first part of the season and if you compare it with 2014, then we had a few more podiums at this time of the year than we have now.
“Having said that, we are still capable of improving and getting closer to Ferrari so I will be looking to secure more podiums in the second half of the season.”
Bottas’ hopes of converting his third-place finish in qualifying in Belgium were dashed when Williams fitted three option tires and one prime to his car, resulting in a penalty.
Although Bottas was disappointed by the error, he felt that the team’s pace would not have been good enough to reach the podium anyway.
“I definitely want to move on from this weekend and head into the Italian Grand Prix full of energy and optimism, as Monza is a track that should really suit our car,” Bottas said.
“On the other hand, we need to analyze thoroughly why we weren’t as competitive as expected in the Belgian Grand Prix and make sure the situation doesn’t repeat itself in Italy.
“Of course a lot of work is going to go into understanding how the tire mishap happened, because we need to fix the procedures and make sure such a problem never occurs again. We’ll learn from it and I’m sure this will never be repeated.
“Without the drive through penalty I had to serve for the tire mistake we would have finished the race in fifth place, as I was in front of that pack.
“Still, the pace was not good enough for a top three finish, which was our goal today, so now is a time to learn and move on.”