Valtteri Bottas said he couldn’t feel a “huge difference” with the updated Mercedes power unit, but could tell it was an improvement.
The Silver Arrows introduced the new engine for the Canadian Grand Prix, and while Lewis Hamilton topped the opening practice session, it was Ferrari who took a one-two finish in FP2.
Both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have cast doubt over their chances of taking the fight to Mercedes around Montreal, but Bottas is looking forward to what he thinks will be a close battle.
“The car feels strong, but we have some work to do on the balance; the car became more difficult to drive with the changes we made for FP2, but it also felt a little quicker,” the Finn told reporters.
“So we need to review if there’s anything we could have done better for FP2 and what we’re going to do for tomorrow.
“It’s nice to have a new engine with a bit more power; it’s not a huge difference, but you can feel it, and it’s a really good feeling. The car seemed strong on both long and short runs, but Ferrari was very quick on the straights, so I expect it to be a very close fight tomorrow.
“But I like this track and I’m confident, so I’m looking forward to qualifying.”
That’s a wrap on Friday practice ? @ValtteriBottas ends the day P3 with a 1:12.311. Lewis is P6 with a 1:12.938 after a clash with the wall early in the session.
#CanadianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/KUvUOnlYMo
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) June 7, 2019
A fuel pressure issue brought FP1 to a premature end for Bottas, but it didn’t dampen his mood as he delved further into why he loves the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
“I really enjoyed today, it was good fun out there,” revealed Bottas. “This track is always very dusty at the beginning and keeps improving, so you need to find the grip step by step.
“That’s what I like about this circuit because it’s different every time you go out and you always need to discover it again, get a feel for it and learn.”
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