Feb.19 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Valtteri Bottas has lamented the end of winter testing in the island Kingdom of Bahrain.
Previously, F1 teams made the pre-season trip to the Middle East to avoid Europe’s cold winter, but the practice was stopped for 2015 as a cost-saving measure.
So after this year’s track preparations kicked off recently at Jerez, the sport is now busily setting up at another Spanish venue, the Circuit de Catalunya.
“It was, of course, better to do it in Bahrain,” Williams driver Bottas told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.
“(It) Bahrain was so much closer to the kind of temperatures that await us in the world championship.”
However, Bottas did acknowledge that as Barcelona is the venue for the Spanish grand prix, and as so much testing has taken place at the venue in the past, the work done in 2015 “will not go to waste”.
Williams’ work will be aimed at getting the Grove team even closer to the 2014 pacesetters Mercedes this season, Bottas admitted.
“I hope we are closer this season,” he confirmed.
“We have a number of positive things that have made the car feel better than what we had last year, but all in all the basic feeling is similar to last year.”
The new FW37, however, has been hailed up and down pitlane as an obviously tidy package, including its noticeably short nose that is expected to be widely copied in 2015.
“I think Red Bull(‘s 2015 car) has a bit of the same ideology as us,” said Bottas.
“I guess the solution is to get as much air as possible under the front of the car and to the diffuser,” he explained.
“It’s better to ask the engineers for more detail on that, but it does look like a good solution for us.”