Bottas Confident in Stake F1's Pre-Season Progress

Bottas Confident in Stake F1’s Pre-Season Progress


Valtteri Bottas expresses optimism for Stake F1 after initial pre-season tests in Bahrain, highlighting significant improvements and a positive outlook.

Valtteri Bottas believes that Stake F1 is “definitely in a better position” following the start of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Bottas completed 68 laps of the Sakhir circuit in the C44, posting a best time of 1’34″431, which he deemed not important at this stage.

The Finn was relieved to avoid issues, as was the case for the majority of drivers on track this morning. Alex Albon was the sole exception, stopping towards the end of the session with a minor fuel pump issue.

When asked about the new car, Bottas shared, “It’s better than the C43, that’s immediately clear, which is good, and it’s something we had predicted, at least with the correlation with the simulator. It seems to react more or less as it should.”

“So, improvements have been made over the winter with this new car, and it’s good to see, but the real question is how much the others have improved. That’s something we will see next week.”

“In the coming days, we will focus a bit more on the settings and find more and more performance. Today is not the day to focus on lap times.”

“But we have made a good step forward, which is nice to feel and good to see, but we still have more to discover because on the first day, you start cautiously with the settings, with the ride heights and everything. We did not search for performance, it’s more about learning.”

Bottas Highlights F1 Car Improvements

Regarding the main areas of improvement, Bottas added that “for me, the two biggest changes are the high-speed downforce and stability, which we clearly lacked these past two years, and also the drag. I immediately felt that the car was a bit less dragged down in a straight line, which was a problem for us last year.”

“So, we are definitely in a better position. The rear stability at higher speed has definitely improved, which was also a big weakness last year, and sometimes we were a bit locked into settings because of that, so now it feels like we will have more setup options and quite a good base car to work with.”

Asked about the improvements he would like to see made to the car for the rest of the tests before the season opener, he replied, “We have a pretty clear plan.”

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the car. We have not yet reached the optimal ride height, so I think there should be more performance in there, but first, we need to learn how far we can push, with the car’s stiffness, but so far, nothing is fundamentally wrong.”

“With the balance, there is still work to be done. This is only the first real outing of this car. We kind of kept a certain base setup and tried a few small things from there, so there is definitely work to be done on the balance side.”

Bottas Confident in Stake F1’s Pre-Season Progress. Bottas Confident in Stake F1’s Pre-Season Progress

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