Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas: “I’m sure we’re going to have a good weekend in Russia”

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Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China. Sunday 17 April 2016. Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38 Mercedes, makes a pitstop. Photo: Zak Mauger/Williams ref: Digital Image _L0U4238

The 2016 Chinese Grand Prix weekend was a mixed bag for the Williams F1 team, and although both drivers finished in the points, one was more upbeat than the other at the end of the day.

Valtteri Bottas struggled at the Shanghai International Circuit, the FW38 once again taking issue with the medium compound tyre. The Finn is however hopeful of a good race weekend at the 2016 Russian Grand Prix.

“Russia is my neighbouring country, being Finnish. Sochi is a very technical track and I find it really interesting to drive. I’ve always had pretty good results there.

“Last year it didn’t end up the way I wanted, but normally I’m pretty quick and we are competitive there as a team.

“One challenge in Sochi is that the asphalt is quite smooth, so in qualifying it’s not easy to get the tyres to work quickly enough for the timed lap. That has been a challenge in previous years, but hopefully we have fixed it and I’m sure we’re going to have a good weekend in Russia.”

Team-mate Felipe Massa on the other hand had a strong race in China, keeping Lewis Hamilton at bay in the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS to finish sixth overall, and the Brazilian is once again optimistic that he can score good points, as they head to the Sochi Autodrom.

“Sochi is a nice track to drive. It’s a mix between a city circuit and a normal circuit. It’s a race I enjoy and one we have traditionally done well at.

“I don’t know Russia very much, as we stay in a small town and spend most of our time at the hotel or the track. I like racing there and I hope the event gets bigger every year.

“From what I know of the track, I’m hopeful it will suit this year’s car, but it’s too early to say for sure.”

Strategy and tyre choice appears to have been a sore point for the Williams F1 team so far this season, and so the Oxfordshire based squad will be hoping to turn that around with a good points haul in Russia this weekend.

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