Mercedes’ James Ellison: “A driver’s first win is always very special”


Lewis Hamilton struggled to fourth in Russia, but Valtteri Bottas (following) took victory - Credit: Steve Etherington

James Ellison says there is still work to be done in order to be competitive on both Saturdays and Sundays during Grand Prix weekends despite seeing Valtteri Bottas take his maiden victory in the Russian Grand Prix.

The Technical Director of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team saw Scuderia Ferrari lock out the front row of the grid at the Sochi Autodrom, but a great start from Bottas gave him the lead into turn two, and Ellison admitted his first win came at a good time after difficult races in China and Bahrain.

But Ellison knows the fact that Lewis Hamilton finished more than half a minute down on his team-mate means work will need to be done to be competitive with both drivers in all conditions.

“We’re all so pleased to see Valtteri on the top step of the podium,” said Ellison. “A driver’s first win is always very special but especially when it comes like it did this weekend, off the back off some difficult sessions. That makes victory all the sweeter.

“Our happiness is tempered though by the fact that we couldn’t get Lewis into a position where he could be properly competitive.

“It’s a reminder to us that we have more work to do before we can put a car on the track for both Saturday and Sunday that we know is going to absolutely top rank competitive, which is what we’ll need to do in this, such a hard-fought and competitive season.”