Valtteri Bottas says he cannot wait until the lights go out at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
The Finnish rookie steps up to Formula One this season having spent 2012 as Williams’s official test and reserve driver.
“We have had a good winter at the factory and the car showed strong reliability and performance during testing,” he said.
“The FW35 feels like a new car in comparison to the FW34, behaving and responding differently around the track to the car I was driving on Friday mornings last year and I’m impressed with the improvements the team have made. The winter has seen me preparing hard for the demands of driving a full race which I haven’t done before in Formula One”.
“However, I’ve always done a lot of fitness training and have driven a lot of miles over the past few years with the team, so I’m feeling fully prepared. The first Grand Prix of my career is a big thing for me and I can’t wait for the lights to go out in Melbourne and see how the FW35 performs against the competition.”
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado, who crashed out of sixth place on the final lap of the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, insists that Williams will be more competitive in 2013.
“Obviously we don’t know what other teams have done and you can only learn so much during testing, but we expect to be more competitive than last year. I like street circuits so I always enjoy coming to Australia and now I just want to start the season and find out where we stand,” said the Venezuelan.