Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

Bottas feels vindicated by breakthrough win

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says his first grand prix victory proves what he is capable of following his disappointments in the last two races.

The Mercedes driver resisted strong pressure from Sebastian Vettel in the closing laps of the Russian Grand Prix to win.

Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Sochi Autodrom, 2017
Russian GP in pictures
“I think this weekend I performed well,” Bottas told reporters. “I guess the team is happy with the performance this weekend.”

“The first few races haven’t had quite my best results for different reasons but the team knows exactly where my performance is. I never doubted my skills and I’m just keen to prove more in the next few races.”

Bottas started the previous race from pole position but struggled for pace with high tyre pressures. At the preceding round in China a spin during a Safety Car period compromised his day.

He said it was “difficult to explain” his emotions after becoming a grand prrix winner. “It’s a little bit surreal.”

“It’s the first one and all the work that has gone into achieving this is amazing. Now I’ve got my first, hopefully the first of many. Now I know how to do it in Formula One. Just very thankful to the team for making it possible. It was a tough race with Ferrari again today but we managed to keep in front.”

Having taken the lead at the start, Bottas kept clear of the Ferraris until the final stint, when Vettel caught him quickly.

“The last ten laps I was asking for radio silence from the team,2 he explained. “Just wanted to be more like home – nice and quiet. So that helped, I could focus on the driving itself.”

“There was not much going on really, just trying to get the most out of every single lap. The main thing was the backmarkers, getting through traffic, not losing too much time or having any accident with them.”

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    19 comments on “Bottas feels vindicated by breakthrough win”

    1. Congrats Bottas. Still, I would like to see you win with Lewis driving a healthy car and Ferrari matching your pace.

      1. nelson piquet
        30th April 2017, 17:13

        lewis car was as healthy as bottas car. it’s just always something wrong with the car when he isn’t fast enough

        1. Yea, because Bottas’ car had heating and power loss issues. Bottas won the race, but don’t make it look like both cars had the same problem.

        2. lewis car was as healthy as bottas car. it’s just always something wrong with the car when he isn’t fast enough

          Absolutely. With some people it is always someone else or something else responsible when Hamilton performs below their expectations.

          1. @loup- garou Did u even watch the race ?

            1. @loup- garou Did u even watch the race ?

              From start to finish. Just because Hamilton could not catch-up with his teammate or the Ferraris does not mean that there was something wrong with his car. Bottas was the better driver today, that’s all.

            2. The team CONFIRMED to Hamilton that Bottas had the exact same issues, with his only advantage of being in clean air. So yes, cars were equal. Read/listen the radio transcript.

            3. Just want to add that Niki Lauda also confirmed that Lewis just couldn’t get his car to handle the way he wanted/needed to, from free practice onwards:

              Look, I’m actually a great Hamilton fan, but let’s just give credit where credit’s due. Bottas won fair and square, Hamilton had one of his worst weekends in the last couple of years.

      2. Get over it already. Bottas won fair and square! @Keamo

      3. Well Mercedes said Bottas had similar issues, plus other teams appeared to have cooling issues too. I think it might have been more about the balance, which is more down to the team including Hamilton to sort out. Hamilton seems to have these kind of races a few times a year, hopefully it doesn’t cost him too much in the championship.

    2. Well, this was the first time Bottas had a healthy car in race this year and first time Hamilton didn’t, so with that logic, both still need to show what they can do on healthy cars. And Ferrari was matching their speed, if not being slightly quicker.

      1. so with that logic, both still need to show what they can do on healthy cars

        I personally wouldn’t mind that thought

    3. Congratulations to Bottas! Nice guy, great driver. Glad to have supported him from the start. Some questioned Williams signing him, but I think he has proved out. He is up to the task of challenging Hamilton and apparently without the toxic atmosphere in previous years at Mercedes. This won’t be his last win.

    4. I was hoping the other Fin would walk the red carpet! But it was nice watching Bottas drive and defend a charging Vettel. Congrats to his first! It is special and he deserved it.

      I am no Bottas fan. I only wish him good for future races… Common Seb and Kimi! Its game on…

    5. Now it’s safe to say that Bottas had already done more, in four races, than Hamilton’s last finn team-mate did in two years…

    6. Let me get this straight. Bottas starts from pole in Bahrain and tyre pressure issues lead to him falling back. Issues on the car.
      Hamilton never manages to compete here today due to an overheating car. (leaving aside Bottas had the same).
      How are the two different? Why is Bottas’ issue a stick to beat him with and Hamilton’s an excuse for him? Pathetic.

      1. @hahostolze There is always gonna be an excuse when Bieberton doesn’t perform well. Either a conspiracy theory about a (deliberate) malfunctioning car or something else exaggerated. Let it go.

    7. What is wrong with you people? Guy starts third, overtakes two Ferraris at start, drives perfect race… And you guys come up with how Ferraris were poor and Hamilton had car issue… Despite him beating Ham by nearly half a second in quali.

      1. @ Jureo – Don’t worry. Pretty soon certain people will run out of conspiracy theories about how and why Bottas was in front of Hamilton at the end of a race.
        Like you said, even in the first few laps – long before Hamilton’s or any other car could develop an ‘issue’ – it was very clear that Bottas was the quickest of the field and pulling away. The car issues came as an afterthought.

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