Bottas: Williams can be close to Mercedes
22 August 2014 – Valtteri Bottas is hopeful that his Williams team can put pressure on championship leaders Mercedes at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were comfortably quickest during Friday's pair of practice sessions at Spa-Francorchamps, with the Williams machines more than a second off the ultimate pace.
But Bottas reckons Mercedes can be challenged if he and team-mate Felipe Massa enjoy smoother final practice and qualifying sessions.
"I think we can be close," said Bottas, referring to the Silver Arrows.
"It's a bit of an unknown how much everyone can improve from Friday to Saturday, but if it goes normally we can be quite close. We expect them to still be ahead but it's up to us to have a good look where we can improve."
Although Williams has been bullish about its chances at Spa-Francorchamps and the upcoming Monza round, Bottas made it clear that Mercedes' substantial Friday advantage in the Ardennes came as no surprise.
"We knew that [Mercedes] still have more grip in the corners and every Friday they are quite far ahead. We know we still have some pace left for tomorrow and Sunday, but they are always going to have the upper hand."