Valtteri Bottas: Melbourne form just a hint of Williams's potential
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, March 20th 2014, 12:33 GMT|
Valtteri Bottas has no doubts the best is yet to come from Williams, after the team's encouraging return to Formula 1 form in the Australia Grand Prix.
Although Bottas and team-mate Felipe Massa were unable to fulfil pre-event predictions of a podium, the pace they showed has lifted spirits about what can be achieved this year.
"There are 18 races to prove what we can do," said Bottas, whose hopes of a top-three finish were dashed by a brush with the wall that punctured a tyre.
"It could have been better in Australia. There was nothing Felipe could have done [to avoid a first corner accident] and I made a mistake - so there is definitely more to come."
Bottas says the potential of Williams could not be in starker contrast to the situation 12 months ago, when it faced one of its most difficult campaigns.
"It is a different team now," he said. "Now we have more points than last year and the car is so much quicker compared to the others.
"I am really happy with what we have done over the winter and in the testing."
With next weekend's Malaysian GP expected to play to the strengths of the Mercedes-powered teams again, Bottas sees no reason why his outfit cannot be fighting near the front once more.
"Malaysia will be a very different track," he said. "It's a bit more like a proper race track, rather than a special street circuit, which is bumpy and quite slippery surface.
"We do expect that we can really fight in the top six positions and I am very, very much looking forward."
CAR STILL NEEDS IMPROVEMENTS
Despite his confidence about the potential this season, Bottas knows that Williams needs to work on weaknesses with its package.
These were highlighted in Australia when he and Massa struggled for pace in the wet.
"In the braking and entry of corners we were quite strong," he said. "You can lean on it and trust it.
"On power we still have some weak points with the car, and traction is something we need to work on - especially in the wet.
"We were struggling a little bit to follow others in the high-speed corners - that is the weak point for us. In some exits of the corners, and some high-speed corners, we were losing a little bit.
"But I would say our top speeds are very strong, which helps with the overtaking."