Valtteri Bottas feels ready to make a big contribution to the Williams team's race weekends this year, after completing his single day of preseason testing at Barcelona on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old is scheduled to participate in 15 morning practice sessions in 2012, starting off at the Malaysian Grand Prix. With that plan in mind, the Finn spent part of his Barcelona running doing the kind of work that will be expected of him when he drives in Friday practice.
"I think I'm capable of being a help to the team on Fridays," said Bottas, when asked by AUTOSPORT if he was ready for the role. "I felt really good in the car this afternoon and I'm sure it will be fine. And as soon as the Fridays start, I will get more and more mileage.
"We had some of the same style of testing that we will do on Fridays. But one goal was also to put some more mileage on the car, see how the reliability is and to understand it because there is still a lot of setup stuff we can try.
"It was a good day for me, because I completed a lot of laps. It's the only test day that I will have before Malaysia so it was really nice to get a feel for the FW34. There are some differences to the FW33 and it looked very positive."
Bottas was happy that he was able to get a handle on the way that the new-for-2012 Pirelli rubber degrades during longer runs. He also backed up race driver Bruno Senna's assertion that the team still has more work to do in slow corners.
"Normally, our runs were 10 laps so you could see what the tires were like," said Bottas. "It was interesting for me to see the drop-off with these tires.
"I agree with Bruno that the slow-speed [corners] is still something we can improve on. Today, we learned more about the handling in them. I think we know more today than we did yesterday."