Valtteri Bottas is aiming to pick up his first victory of the season in Abu Dhabi after enjoying a "really good" Friday. The Finn ended the second practice session on top of the timesheets, beating Red Bull's Max Verstappen by just 0.044s.
Bottas' last win in Formula 1 came at the Yas Marina Circuit twelve months ago, a race that he dominated from start to end. Bottas had opportunities to take victories in 2018, coming close in China, Azerbaijan and Great Britain.
In September, he was leading the Russian Grand Prix before team orders intervened to boost his teammate Lewis Hamilton's chances of winning the world championship. But after a comfortable Friday in Abu Dhabi, Bottas is gunning to finally get his hands on the top prize.
"FP2 was really good, the car felt like I could trust it and drive it the way I want,” he said. “FP1 was less good, but I think that's pretty usual here. The track is very green when we first go out and it's much hotter during the day than it is in the evening session.
“So I'm glad we got the car to work well in the evening session as it is very difficult to try out set-up changes in FP3 because it is so hot. We definitely learned a lot from the runs we did today, especially in the evening, and there are plenty of things we can adjust overnight to find a good set-up for qualifying and the race.
“It's nice to be on top of the timesheets, but we now need to build on that, we need to try and make the right set-up changes and I also need to find more performance from myself. My goal for the weekend is to repeat last year's result, but there's still plenty of work to do.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing