Formula 1 News

Bottas expecting Williams to challenge Toro Rosso, Sauber at Monza

Valtteri Bottas is confident that Williams has the long run pace to compete with its two immediate Constructors' Championship rivals on Sunday
Friday, September 6, 2013

September 6th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - The first practice day of the Italian Grand Prix weekend did not go entirely to plan for Williams, but they did come out of it with decent long run pace from Valterri Bottas's car. An issue with straight-line speed on Bottas's first option tyre run negatively affected his position in the session times, but overall was not a major problem for the team. Bottas ended the session 18th fastest, 2.745 seconds off the pace

Pastor Maldonado struggled to find a good balance on his setup, particularly on his long runs, but managed to set a lap time more representative of the car's pace. Maldonado ended FP2 14th, 1.1 seconds faster than his team-mate.

Despite the struggles the team experienced during the day, Bottas was feeling positive about the team's chances of having a competitive race on Sunday, and in particular their chances of challenging Toro Rosso and Sauber, who are ahead of Williams in the Constructors' Championship. Bottas said after FP2:

"It wasn't an easy day today. We had some inconsistencies in the aerodynamics during FP1 and then in FP2 we were missing quite a lot of straight-line speed on my option tyre run. We need to look at why that happened as that is why the time doesn't look so good on the board. The positive thing today was the long run as we were competitive compared to Toro Rosso and Sauber and I think we can really challenge them in the race this weekend."

Pastor Maldonado was less enthusiastic and more focused on the job at hand: "We completed all the plans we had today. There is a lot to look at as we are close to the limit so it's hard to find a few more tenths of a second. It is quite difficult to put a lap together as there is some inconsistency in how the car behaves through different corners, but we will see where we are tomorrow as the track is changing a lot. We weren't able to improve our time too much this afternoon so we need to work harder to make sure we are better tomorrow."

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