Valtteri Bottas says the new generation of Formula One cars require a different driving style.
This year's cars have more downforce and more mechanical grip than their predecessors thanks to new aerodynamic and tyre regulations introduced for the 2017 season. In testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, the cars were capable of lap times three seconds faster than last year's pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix and Bottas said he has had to adapt his stye.
"I've definitively needed to adapt some things on my driving style, take slightly different lines and use slightly different driving techniques," he said. "It's not just because it's a different car with more grip. Mechanically it behaves a bit differently, which takes a bit of time if you want to get absolutely everything out of the car.
"But I feel I've learned massively, I feel I can extract more and more about the car, but there's still more to come, for sure."
The cars are expected to break circuit lap records this year, the majority of which were were set in the 2000s before regulations changes in 2009 paired back downforce levels. That has led to speculation that the cars will suit drivers who raced in that period, but Kimi Raikkonen, who won the title in 2007, doubts the cars will be that much better for his driving style.
"I don't think the cars are an awful lot different from last year," he said. "Obviously we have more grip with the rule changes and the tyres are a bit different, but I wouldn't say it suddenly fits better for me than someone else. It's different rules and different cars, so early days yet."