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Mat Coch writes:
Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas was circumspect after a spin in Friday morning's practice which left him in the barrier. The young Finn was behind the wheel of Bruno Senna's car in the difficult, changeable conditions when he lost the car under braking for the Sachs Kurve.
With just a few minutes left the crash ended the session, leaving the Williams mechanics the task of repairing the car ahead of the afternoon run.
"I was really not sure if it was my mistake or if it was car failure," he said of his immediate reaction to the spin. "We've had a good look at the data and it's a combination of different things.
"It was my mistake," he admitted. "I broke a bit too hard and my brake bias was a little bit too much on the rear wheels, as well I went a bit wide on the astroturf on the previous corner."
It was the first mistake the highly rated Bottas has made, a testament to his consistency and performance to date. "It's been pretty positive," he said of his season so far. "I've been learning a lot.
"Of course it's better to have just one mistake in ten weekends than have shunts every weekend," he added. "It's not ideal in my position being just a test driver and going off the track destroying some bits of the car. It's not ideal but I guess these things can happen.
"I would like to aim for perfection, not to do any mistakes, but when you're new it's going to happen at some point. You're going to go off and make a mistake because we are all human and we all make mistakes. We just need to minimise those. That was my first mistake this season and hopefully my last one."
Effectively sitting the year out as Williams test driver Bottas feels it's worth the sacrifice to progress his career. Should he not secure a race drive in Formula One next season the 22-year-old will re-evaluate his position to keep himself race fit, while continuing to work towards a full Grand Prix drive.
"One year is about the maximum that you can do without racing, then you need to race again," he claimed. "Sunday's the hard part when I watch the Grand Prix," he admitted.
Managed by Williams shareholder Toto Wolff, Bottas is seen by many as a star of the future. He won the GP3 championship last year and has openly admitted to craving a place on the Formula One grid next season. Were a seat to materialise at Williams it seems the man he replaced in Friday's practice would be the one to make way.
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