Bottas: Mercedes needs to solve 'massive balance issues' to compete with Ferrari
The Mercedes AMG Petronas team spotted "massive balance issues" in their W10 new series racing cars while arch-rival Ferrari had a strong start during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain, last week.
"We were struggling a bit over the week to find a good balance for all the corners," said the team's Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas in an interview. "There were some corners that were good, some corners we would have balance issues and other corners we would have massive balance issues."
Bottas joined the German dominant squad in 2017, replacing retired Nico Rosberg to partner Lewis Hamilton. He had earned nine grand prix podium finishes during his Williams stint from 2013 to 2016.
The 29-year-old Finn has a long story with the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the Formula One's World Championship calendar, which will start March 17 this year in Melbourne.
In his debut race for Mercedes, Bottas finished third behind Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in Australia in 2017.
Last year, he crashed out during qualifying and was given a five-place grid penalty with no recorded time.
In an interview with the official Formula One website, Bottas admitted that last season was "disappointing."
"It even made me nearly angry to myself that in my six years in Formula One," he said. "I haven't been achieving my target yet. I do have time, but I'm starting to realize that you definitely have only one career, and I don't want to be in this situation again.
"My target for the year is to win as much as I can – even though I didn't win a race last year – and only one target for the whole season is the world championship
"I still feel that I haven't achieved anything in Formula for me personally, and for us as a team. One, so for myself, I still have a lot to achieve. I do want to meet my targets.
"I'm willing to do, basically, whatever it takes to achieve those, and really just mentally prepared to go all in for the year."