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Bottas: Baku win payback for 2018 loss

  • 29 Apr 2019 11:11
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Valtteri Bottas says winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday was payback for missing out on the victory 12 months ago.

The Finn was on course to take the chequered flag at the 2018 edition, but a puncture in the final laps put him out of the race, gifting the win to teammate Lewis Hamilton.

However this time around, Bottas held off Hamilton at the opening and closing stages of the race to take his second victory in four races, and reclaim the lead in the drivers' championship.

“It was a tough race, even though there wasn’t much going on at the front,” Bottas said.

“Lewis was putting pressure on all the time, so I couldn’t make any mistakes but, honestly, everything was under control, so I’m happy to see the chequered flag and get this first place.

“It means a lot to win. It’s incredible the level we’re performing as a team, that’s why I was just saying at the guys I’m so proud to be part of that.

“We’re all performing really, really well. For me as well it’s only my fifth win and it feels good and pays back from last year.”

The start 'crucial' for race outcome

Bottas highlighted that the start was the crucial point in the race, as he managed to fend off an attack from Hamilton, despite the Briton having the better start off the line.

“It’s never easy to have Lewis attacking flat out behind," he admitted. "The main thing for me was to focus on my own doing and not going for the silly mistakes, trying to push too hard and I managed to keep it together.

“I think the start was the most critical point, I think Lewis had a better getaway from the line. I was perhaps too cautious off the line, just tried to prevent any wheelspin or anything, so then I had to defend a bit into Turn 1 and Turn 2, but it was nice and clean and fair, and I enjoyed that.

“I was all the time aware of the gap to Lewis, and I could sometimes see him pushing really hard, and sometimes saving a bit. That’s how it goes.

"With the blue-flagged cars, sometimes you lose a lot, sometimes you get some help which is always welcome. So thanks to George [Russell], I’m happy to buy him a pint of beer!”


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  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 878
  • Podiums 29
  • Grand Prix 86
  • Country Finland
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (29)
  • Place of b. Nastola, Finland
  • Weight 70 kg
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
-
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
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