Valtteri Bottas has denied claims that Mercedes are heading into the new season with a one-second advantage over their nearest rivals.
Following the conclusion of winter testing, there is a lot of data being poured over as the mad scramble to find any meaningful information continues ahead of the season opener in Australia.
One analysis of the events at the Circuit de Catalunya puts Mercedes ahead of Ferrari and Red Bull by at least a second, while the more common consensus is that the Silver Arrows are simply doing their usual by setting the standard without creating headline testing times at the top of the standings.
Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are both relatively happy with the W09, despite having some concerns over tyre management, but the Finn does agree with the suggestion that the Mercedes is already at that level of dominance.
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“We are definitely not a second ahead of the others,” Bottas said.
“We need to keep working for the week and a half before we travel to Melbourne.
“But will be interesting to find out where we will be.”
On the tyre issues, Bottas said it was the softer compounds that were causing a little headache.
He added: “We got the Medium and the Hard tyres to work quite well.
“I think we still have issues with blistering on the softer compounds. Hopefully it will be different in Melbourne, but on the new track surface here in Barcelona we had some difficulties.
“The team has done a great job over the past two weeks. I really enjoy working with the team and I can’t wait to get racing.”