Valtteri Bottas wants to fight back at favoured circuit Sochi Autodrom after enduring a tough Singapore Grand Prix last time out, while memories of being denied victory by Mercedes team orders in Russia 12 months ago are still firmly in his mind.

The Finnish driver endured a qualifying mix-up with Lewis Hamilton in Singapore, wrecking his final run in Q3, which put him on the backfoot for the race and resulted in him having to obey team orders by backing off behind Hamilton and settle for fifth place.

It marks one year on since the last time Bottas was victim to team orders at Mercedes, when he had to allow Hamilton to overtake him to win the Russian Grand Prix, as the German manufacturer prioritised the British driver’s fight in the F1 world title race last year.

With double frustration on his mind heading back to Sochi, Bottas says he wants to put the record straight in Russia which also hosted his maiden F1 win back in 2017.

“I’ve got some unfinished business in Sochi. It has normally been a good track for me and I need to make sure it will be again,” Bottas said.

“It could be a good track for Ferrari with all the straights, but we’re going there with a good feeling and determined to finish it better than last year and in a different way.

“With such a quick turnaround [from Singapore] you cannot do much with the car, but there will be things to do with the setup and there will also be some small bit here and there.

“But it’s mainly to take the points to learn from this weekend, to learn, forget and move on. For me, personally, that’s about it, then I’ll go to Russia, we all start from zero, and I’ll try to remember those good feelings from the years before and try to find that same flow I found there before and go from there.”

Sochi has been the best track for Bottas across his F1 career since its debut on the race calendar in 2014 when he claimed third place and the fastest lap driving for Williams.

Bottas was taken out on the last lap of the 2015 race by fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen while battling for third place, while in 2016 he finished an impressive fourth place for Williams.

With a breakthrough F1 win in Russia in 2017, Bottas would have also claimed victory last year before team orders wrecked his hopes despite dominating the entire race weekend.

 

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