Mercedes AMG Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas has said that the team’s 1-2 finish in the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom on Sunday “felt really good”, it being a while since he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton have locked out the front row.
“It’s been a while since we last had a 1-2 and it feels really good to stand up there on the podium together again. It’s really encouraging and motivating for the entire team,” said Bottas.
“We knew a 1-2 would be tricky to achieve, but possible, so we spoke about all the different strategies that would give us a chance this morning, and I think we did a really good job as a team today.”
The Finn said that the feat was made even more impressive compared to their rival Scuderia Ferrari‘s pace for the rest of the weekend.
“It’s a really good result if you think about how much we were struggling yesterday. Ferrari had a quick car all weekend long, I think they were quicker as well today, so to walk away with a 1-2 means that we did a great job as a team in all other areas.”
Bottas added that he struggled at numerous points during the race, first being stuck behind McLaren F1 Team‘s Carlos Sainz Jr., also struggling to make up time on the slower Medium compound tyre, although he was able to make it up when he switched to the Soft tyre.
“I lost quite a bit of time when I was stuck behind Sainz in the beginning and I was also struggling to match the times on the Medium tyres, but it was a lot better in the second stint on the Soft tyres.”
Bottas said that it might prove difficult to take the fight to Ferrari in the next few races due to the effectiveness of the upgrades they have brought to the car, but remains optimistic ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
“Ferrari has made some good improvements in the past few weeks, so we know that we need to keep pushing for Japan, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he concluded.