Valtteri Bottas could not have taught his critics a clearer lesson: the new Mercedes driver triumphed on Sunday at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi and impressed with his maturity, when he reached 81. Racing his Formula One career the first success only nine winners had to endure longer. It took a while, but it was worth the wait,”cheers a happy Bottas on the podium. For the Mercedes-Box it was a nervous battle.
“Shit, the relief was really huge,” it bursts from sports director Toto Wolff. To get his nerves und er control, he sinned in front of live TV cameras and will pick up a whiff of his wife Susie: “I have absolute gum prohibition from my wife at home and Bradley (Mercedes Press Chief Lord; Amen. d. Red. But today I had to do something.”
Niki Lauda also trembled and then did not stop praising Bottas. He was “driving like a god” and the “coolest sock” of the field, says the Austrian. What the TV viewers did not learn during the race: Wolff and Lauda discussed a risky maneuver in the box in a scene in which the tension was written in both their faces. It was about how much power Bottas was supposed to get when his car started overheating.
Windshadows was the secret of the rocket launch
Not turning up meant putting the win on the game: “We were unfaithful once and did not trust the data. That was with Nico (Rosberg; Amen. d. Red.) in Monza two years ago, when the engine blew up in our faces,”Wolff explains the brilliance of the situation. But Mercedes did not take the risk and put on Bottas’defensive skills in the fight with Sebastian Vettel –a smart move.
Because Bottas had already demonstrated that he was reliable: his race began with a rocket launch, who took him from third place past the Ferrari of Kimi Riding Kings and Vettel to the top position. Wolff suspects it would have been advantageous to come out of the second row.” The shadow of the wind is the key here. I made it to the railroad in the first corner. The remainder was even stronger after the safety-car phase,”says Bottas.
Weak super soft tyre and overheating caused tremors
Afterwards he burned a fireworks on Ultrasoft tires and left Vettel for up to 5722 seconds. Amazing, because the Mercedes in Sochi at the beginning of the long runs on Friday revealed problems to bring the tires to temperature. But spontaneous changes to the set-up seem to have paid off, at least with Bottas.” In particular, the Pace that he had at the beginning,”Wolff emphasises, which would have helped his husband to win. It was not due to the shrinking lead that the Finnish undertook the undercut and changed tires first. His gums were still fine. We wanted to stay out, but every time we made a pit stop, we’d be stuck in traffic,”Wolff explains the bills and the decision to bring Bottas in, that he returns to the track without disturbing opponents, even at the expense of a long super soft stint.
First victory in a car race in six years
What he did not know: The other tire did not work as well on the Mercedes as the ultrasound, traffic came up and there was the overheating problem. In the final phase, Vettel Bottas moved on to the pelt. Under increasing pressure, he committed violent crimes. The Mercedes analysis showed “serious damage” from brake discs on both front tyres. Bottas took up pace again. He had to complain about vibrations, but did not complain on the radio.
Bottas explained: “I have asked for peace in the last ten rounds because I wanted to feel at home. That helped. The track has a special rhythm. If you get out of the kick, you’ll lose ground immediately.”But the criminal remained Bottas’only mistake. On the way to his first victory in a race of cars since a GP3 success in the year 2011 he remained cool.
The last round trip he mastered the necessary portion of luck, as he admits himself –to cut himself for the first fifth Formula One winner for the Mercedes workshop team. Bottas is now in line with Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and is also the fifth Finnish to receive a large trophy. Good thing nobody listened to Niki Lauda.