Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes are unable to match Ferrari’s outright speed on long straights and believes the next two races will be tough for the Silver Arrows.
Charles Leclerc was on course to claim a win for the Scuderia in Bahrain but technical issues late on meant he had to settle for third spot, with Lewis Hamilton finishing ahead of Bottas in a Mercedes one-two.
The next grand prix takes place in China on Sunday before Formula 1 heads to Azerbaijan – and Bottas expects Ferrari to benefit from their superior straight-line speed on those circuits.
“We’ve seen [in Bahrain] Ferrari was making all the time on the straights and in China there’s a longer straight,” he told Motorsport Week.
“So we do need to work hard. For sure we are improving the car all the time and we need to review what we can do for the straight lines, but it’s going to be tough.
“At the next two races there are massively long straights and I think here they were making more than 0.4s only in straight lines per lap. We can’t find 0.4s like this.
“We need to maybe find some of it in the corners and some of it in the straight line, but it’s early on in the season and still a long way to go, but at least we know what we can still work on.”
Bottas in 9.50 to win the Chinese GP, with Ferrari pair Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel available at 2.60 and 2,75 respectively.