Bottas aiming to build on positive momentum at ‘pretty special’ Nurburgring weekend
Russian Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas said he was aiming to build on the “positive momentum” from his victory at Sochi, as he and his fellow drivers prepare themselves for what’s set to be a bitingly cold – and potentially wet – Eifel Grand Prix weekend at the Nurburgring.
After winning the 2020 season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Bottas had failed to take victory in the following eight races. But at Sochi, a pair of penalties for polesitter and Bottas’s Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton paved the way for Bottas to claim a relatively straightforward Russian Grand Prix win.
And the Finn – whose victory and extra point for fastest lap in Russia saw him move to within 44 points of Hamilton in the title race – said he was looking to close that gap even further in the coming Grands Prix.
“Definitely, I really want to build on that [win],” said Bottas. “I feel good coming into the weekend because just getting the good result that has been so close for so many races – to actually get it and remind myself of what I’m able to do is a good thing.
“It’s going to be a tricky and pretty special weekend with these conditions but definitely I’ll try to make the most out of it with a good positive momentum.”
With temperatures unlikely to rise much above 10 degrees Celsius across the Eifel Grand Prix weekend, and rain predicted to hit at least some of the sessions, Bottas said that the key to a successful weekend at the Nurburgring would be in reacting quickly to unfolding scenarios, at a track where F1 hasn’t raced since 2013.
“Actually I’ve been here testing in Formula Renault in, like, 2008 or something,” Bottas said, when asked if he’d ever faced conditions like these at the Nurburgring.
“It was snowing and there was proper snow on the track, so it’s nothing new. But of course in winter testing, some mornings, it’s not that different to this… It just means that we need to be really quick and reactive on finding things with the car set-up, but also on driving.”
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Drivers' standings ahead of the Eifel GP
|1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
|2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
|3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
|4 Lando Norris McLaren
|5 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing