Bottas: Australian GP drive felt like it was "someone else"

Valtteri Bottas believes his season-opening Australian Grand Prix victory was his best performance in Formula 1 this year and still feels like it happened to someone else.

Bottas: Australian GP drive felt like it was "someone else"

Though Bottas was eventually defeated in the title battle by Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, the Finn kickstarted his season by winning the first round in Melbourne and still led the points after four races.

Bottas beat poleman Hamilton away at the start to score victory in Australia, where he also earned a bonus point for fastest lap and won by more than 20 seconds as Hamilton battled some car damage.

"It's still Melbourne," Bottas told Motorsport.com when asked about his best race performance of the year.

"The race I had…It is weird, when I think about it, it feels like it was someone else. It was surreal. It just felt too easy.

"It's a funny feeling, so that was definitely my best race ever, best Sunday ever. And I wasn't on the pole, so I had a good start from second place and I got the lead there."

Read Also:

Bottas had his best season in F1 in 2019, winning four races in total to finish second in the drivers' championship.

He said two other victories join Australia in being part of his greatest races in F1.

"There were some good races this season that goes to my top five ever," Bottas said. "I think Austin as well. That was good fun, so that's definitely high up there. Also Japan was a good one."

Bottas jumped poleman Sebastian Vettel at the start to win in Japan, while in the US he qualified on pole and had to catch and pass Hamilton late on after an alternate strategy but the six-time world champion ahead.

Those results formed part of a much stronger second half of the season than Bottas had with Mercedes in the last two years, which he said gave him great satisfaction.

"The goal is always to try and go further ahead with your performance, and from 2017 that's why 2019 felt such a disappointing season, because I almost felt like it was a step backwards," he said.

"Now it's it's on the right way, I can see a little bit the improvements and gains I've been able to make as a driver and the amount I've been able to learn, within this year and from last year.

"It is a very nice feeling to see that actually the hard work is at some point paying off.

"When I look at the season, of course, when Lewis secured the title, the initial feeling was disappointment, because I knew it's game over again, and I kind of failed in my goal.

"But very quickly, the race [win] helped as well, to keep the good feeling. I look at this season in a very positive way, because of all the learning I've been able to do."

shares
comments
Ferrari star Leclerc to attend UK’s Autosport International show

Previous article

Ferrari star Leclerc to attend UK’s Autosport International show

Next article

Honda wanted to start 2019 F1 season with Spec 2 engine

Honda wanted to start 2019 F1 season with Spec 2 engine
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021