Valtteri Bottas has cautioned that “it is only practice” after a strong Friday showing that left him fourth fastest in Free Practice 2 at the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Then, his place was taken by reserve driver Theo Pourchaire, though a brake issue kept the Frenchman in the garage for much of the hour.
That was resolved by the time Free Practice 2 arrived in Mexico, allowing Bottas to show impressive early pace.
“We found the issue,” the Finn said of the problem which halted Pourchaire.
“Obviously it was a shame that he missed an important session for himself.
“Found the issue but there was not time to fix it during P1, so at least going forwards we should be okay.”
Bottas' 1:18.955s left him just 0.269s away from Max Verstappen's Free Practice 2 best and just 0.003s back from Charles Leclerc in third.
“It was a clean session, which is important when you miss a practice session,” he said.
“Got plenty of laps. Actually pretty good feeling, overall, with the car and found a good rhythm.
“I was quite pleased with that one session, but it is only practice, and now we need to focus on ourselves, my driving and also set up to find more tomorrow.”
While wary that his performance has come in practice it nonetheless offered the 10-time grand prix winner optimistic about his chances for the balance of the weekend.
“It gives me hope, definitely,” he admitted when asked if points were a possibility.
“We feel like we're in a better place than in Austin for now.
“It's a short lap, so that's why gaps are small, but yeah, I'm optimistic for this weekend.”
The quartet are split by 15 points, with Alfa Romeo Sauber nine back from Williams and four clear of Haas.
Bottas has achieved the team's best finish of the season, a brace of eighth places recorded at the Qatar and Bahrain Grands Prix.
Last weekend, he was 12th, one spot ahead of team-mate Zhou Guanyu.