A year ago, Valtteri Bottas was cruelly robbed of, what would have been a well-deserved win in Sochi. Now, with the ghosts of that race still haunting him, he will be eager for redemption.
The Finnish driver was on the receiving end of a qualifying mix-up with Lewis Hamilton in Singapore. As a result, his final run in Q3 was botched which put him on the backfoot for the race. The cherry on top was when he had to obey team orders by backing off to allow Hamilton to take 4th.
Incidentally, a year ago, in Russia, Bottas fell victim to team orders at Mercedes yet again. This time, he was ahead and had to allow Hamilton to overtake him to win the race. At the time, the German manufacturer were entirely focused on the British driver’s title fight.
Now, Valtteri Bottas wants to set the record straight in Russia the scene of his maiden F1 win back in 2017.
“I’ve got some unfinished business in Sochi. It has normally been a good track for me and I need to make sure it will be again,” Bottas said.
“It could be a good track for Ferrari with all the straights, but we’re going there with a good feeling and determined to finish it better than last year and in a different way.”
“With such a quick turnaround [from Singapore] you cannot do much with the car, but there will be things to do with the setup and there will also be some small bit here and there.”
“But it’s mainly to take the points to learn from this weekend, to learn, forget and move on. For me, personally, that’s about it, then I’ll go to Russia, we all start from zero, and I’ll try to remember those good feelings from the years before and try to find that same flow I found there before and go from there.”
Admittedly, Sochi has been a lucky track for Bottas as he claimed third place and the fastest lap driving for Williams in 2014. Then, a year later, Bottas was on his way to a second successive Russian GP podium. Sadly, he was taken out on the last lap by compatriot Kimi Raikkonen.
In 2016, he finished an impressive fourth place for Williams, before his win in 2017. Valtteri Bottas would have made it a second successive Russian GP win, until team orders scuppered his hopes despite dominating the entire race weekend.