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Bottas: Only the teams know their true form

NEWS STORY
28/02/2020

As expected, this morning has seen the first sign of what we might expect behind the big three this season, as McLaren and Racing Point finally began to lock horns.

Even so, as Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz traded fastest times, there remains the usual question mark in terms of tyres and fuel loads.

And while Red Bull has yet to show its hand, and Ferrari leaves everyone dazed and confused, Valtteri Bottas admits that it is impossible to discern the true pecking order this year because the teams appear to be playing games, more so than usual.

"It's a weird game in this sport sometimes with how much you're showing, your speed in testing," said the Finn, who, as it stands, is the pace-setter in pre-season testing.

"Only the teams themselves know the true form they have," he continued. "They can calculate and add up everything in terms of performance, what lap time they could do in theory, and we can only guess what other teams are running and how much they have in their pocket.

"We've learned as a team that it's important to keep focusing on our own work and own performance, doing our job, and eventually the time will come that everyone will show their cards.

"You always need to remind yourself that the conditions here are pretty unique," he admitted. "Especially in the mornings and late afternoons, the air temperature is something that you do not see for the Grands Prix. The track temperature in the mornings is really cool, which allows you, for example in the long runs, allows you to push really hard because the tyres don't really overheat in those conditions.

"We know there will be quite a big difference in Melbourne, it's quite a different track obviously, but even coming back to Barcelona in May, it's quite different feeling then in the car.

"From testing, it's impossible to draw detailed conclusions of where you are," he admitted. "We felt we really struggled last year in testing, and then we were really strong in Melbourne. So you never know what other packages teams are bringing to the first race from testing. Even from testing times, it's tricky to read.

"I still think it's going to be three teams challenging, at the beginning of the season at least, for wins," he concluded.

Check out our Friday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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