Valtteri Bottas feels he has matched team-mate Pastor Maldonado so far in 2013
Finn pleased with how his rookie season is going
By William Esler. Last Updated: 05/06/13 12:19pm
Valtteri Bottas thinks he has been more than a match for team-mate Pastor Maldonado during the early stages of his rookie season with Williams.
Whilst neither driver has scored a point in 2013, the Finn has finished ahead of his much more experienced team-mate at four of the first six races and out-qualified him on the same number of occasions.
"I think my performances relative to Pastor (Maldonado) have been pretty good. Pastor is experienced - it's already his third year at Williams - and I would say that I match him more-or-less," Bottas told the official Formula 1 website.
"I can't really point at one particular thing that I've learned from him, but of course you pick up things, especially at a track like Monaco that I didn't know before this season. I was reading his data very carefully to see how he was doing it.
"I am enjoying my rookie season very much. The car has not been as quick as we hoped, but that hasn't dampened my enthusiasm. In any circumstance you want to do your best, no matter how good the car is. Sure, it's been a tough start, but that only inspires you to work harder."
The 23-year-old made the leap from GP3, where he was Champion in 2011, to Formula 1 and feels the difference in race length has been his biggest challenge.
"The race distance is the toughest thing to adapt to in F1," he added.
"The race is so much longer (than in GP3) so you have to have a different approach. In Formula Renault, in GP3 and GP2 you can just push flat out because the race is so short, but in F1 you need to be cleverer.
"You need to think about the tyres, you need to be cleverer with the strategy, and you have a much bigger responsibility because of the sheer size of the team."