It was a perfect day for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team as Valtteri Bottas claimed victory in the first race of the 2020 Formula 1 season at the Red Bull Ring.
Bottas was very happy with his performance, having to stay focused while a lot was going on around him, with multiple Safety Car periods also mixing things up.
“Winning an F1 race is never easy, but today was particularly challenging. There were so many things going on in the race and it would have been quite easy to make a small mistake and lose it all. When the Safety Car came out the last time, I was thinking ‘Come on! Again!?’ I guess it was my chance to really master the restarts here,” said the Finn.
He added: “When you’re in the lead, you want things to be constant and trouble-free, but today felt more like dodging bullets, though things were never out of control. I could build a good margin in the first stint and look after the car and the tyres to make sure that we could stick to our planned strategy.”
He felt under particular pressure during his second stint, mainly due to have to deal with the Safety Cars. Despite concerns over reliability, he was able to finish the race, and is looking forward to their second outing at the circuit next weekend.
“In the second stint, there was more pressure, particularly after all the Safety Cars. We faced some reliability concerns during the race, which put quite a bit of pressure on us, but luckily we made it to the end with both cars. I think we’ve shown that we have a good package. We need to get on top of the reliability issues, but I have no doubts that our team can solve those. I’m looking forward to another race here next weekend,” he concluded.