Valtteri Bottas described his Sakhir Grand Prix Friday as “tricky” after he trailed new Mercedes team-mate George Russell through both practice sessions.
Russell finished the two 90-minute sessions at Bahrain’s Outer Layout at the top of the standings as the Briton got up to speed in place of World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas had several wayward moments in FP1, placing only fourth, and then classified a low-key 11th in FP2.
However Bottas’ FP1 was compromised by floor damage, sustained on his first push lap, and in FP2 he set the fastest time – only for it to be disallowed due to exceeding track limits at Turn 8.
“For me it was quite a tricky day,” said Bottas. “In the first session I broke the floor of the car in the first run, after I went over the kerbs in Turn 8, so there was a big piece missing.
“Then, the rest of FP1 was a bit of a waste. FP2 felt quite OK, obviously I didn’t get any laps on the Soft tyres, I had one half decent lap but that got deleted, as I went over the track limits, so not really the best day.
“But, at least, the long runs were pretty consistent, although Red Bull, on the Medium tyres, looked pretty quick.
“[They] look really competitive, George looked quick and there’s still quite a bit of work to do from my side to get it all together for qualifying, but it’s not bad.”
On how Russell has assimilated within the team as a replacement for Hamilton Bottas commented that “it has been only one day but it has been good.
“He’s been giving good feedback of the car, and, obviously, if you look at the times, he looks quick.”