Valtteri Bottas says Williams is in the best shape he has known since joining the team in 2010.
The Finn, who spent three seasons as test and reserve driver for the team before becoming a race driver in 2013, reckons the arrival of technical chief Pat Symonds last season, plus ex-Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley recently joining as head of vehicle performance, has helped transform the team’s prospects.
“I’ve been a test driver since 2010 and this year is definitely the best since I’ve been here,” Bottas said. “All the right people coming in and many changes being made, how people work in the factory and communicate with the race team and everything, it’s much better.
“I think one of the biggest [improvements] is that Pat joined us, I think he has been able to make a lot of changes to the team and I think that was very positive. Last year it was difficult to make any big improvements to the car, but this season is a big step from any previous year and I think that’s because there’s been more changes.”
Bottas has already scored 24 points in four races this season, six times the number he managed across the whole of last year. He is enthusiastic about the impact new arrival Smedley can make once he settles in.
“The first impression is very good because he has a lot of experience and already some ideas on what we can do better,” Bottas added. “I’m really looking forward to working with him more.”