Williams have been left content despite a mixed start to the first Barcelona pre-season test, after several issues kept Valtteri Bottas and the new FW38 machine in the confines of the garage for longer than expected.
Despite the issues throughout the day Bottas was able to complete decent mileage in the Mercedes-powered car, clocking up 80 laps overall and ending the opening day fourth fastest.
The Finn’s personal best lap came early in the day on his 19th timed lap, with a 1:26.091 which managed to keep him only two tenths ahead of Alfonso Celis in the Force India.
Although Bottas spent lengthy periods in the garage, especially during the afternoon session, the team understand that issues such as those experienced throughout the opening day are to be expected.
“We had a slightly mixed day,” confessed Rod Nelson, the team’s chief test and support engineer. “We had a few niggling little issues that kept us in the garage for longer than we wanted to be there, but we’re still learning about the car so that’s not unexpected and we were able to work through them to continue our programme.
“We are just building up our run lengths and doing our due diligence on reliability, and as the test goes on we’ll feed in more and more performance items. Overall it is a reasonable start to pre-season testing for us.”
Bottas has been positive over the new car throughout the first day, shrugging off the minor setbacks experienced and looking ahead to the following day of track action.
“We were focussing on different kinds of tests today with the chassis, and some aerodynamic tests so mainly longer runs,” explained Bottas. “We had a few problems but that’s testing, and hopefully we will have a clean run tomorrow.”