Williams struggled to stay in touch with the leading two teams in China as it ran the majority of the race on the slow medium tyre, but Bottas was more competitive in Bahrain and held off the recovering Sebastian Vettel for the final 15 laps of the race to finish fourth. Analysing the improvements made, Bottas says Williams is still not able to show its true pace in race trim.
"From China to [Bahrain] we were really focusing on getting the option tyres to work better, which we did and that’s why we were closer I think, we could run the same strategy," Bottas said. "That made the difference but now the main focus is adding performance onto the car and still trying to extend tyre life in the races because that’s where the big gap comes from. We know we can be quick in one lap but in a race distance we are not quite there."
And Bottas says the main advantage the two teams ahead hold comes from an ability to run at a higher pace for longer on the softer compound each weekend.
"Now at least we could run the two options but we are still degrading, especially the option tyre, much quicker than Mercedes and Ferrari. With the prime it was maybe slightly better but we are overall slower, so anything we try is always difficult.
"But we are looking into it and we need to try and create more downforce in the car. There’s three weeks until Barcelona and we have plenty of time to look at things and hopefully to fix some things."
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