Valtteri Bottas recovered from a poor start at Arctic Lapland Rally to take ninth place on his second outing at the event.

The Finn made his rallying debut at the same event 12 months ago and impressed by finishing in fifth place overall highlighted by a stage victory.

Returning for another go this year, Bottas endured a “messy” opening day of the two-day rally as he lost over three minutes on the fifth stage to leave him in 22nd place overnight before producing a strong fightback to take ninth place overall.

Bottas and co-driver Timo Rautiainen, competing in a Citroen DS3 WRC LK6, ended the rally almost 10 minutes behind overall winner and Toyota’s new WRC recruit Kalle Rovanpera and co-driver Jonne Halttunen.

The Finnish F1 driver gets special dispensation to compete at his home rally from his Mercedes F1 team during the off-season.

Bottas will now turn his attention to stepping up his 2020 F1 preparations with his next official engagement at the Mercedes F1 team launch on February 14 at Silverstone.

It will mark the first time both he and reigning F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will drive the new W11 during a shakedown test at the British Grand Prix venue as preparation for pre-season testing at Circuit de Catalunya at the end of February.

Mercedes remains one of the few teams to permit its drivers to complete non-F1 motorsport activities outside of the regular season. In December Lewis Hamilton teamed up with Valentino Rossi to ride his Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bike at a sponsor event held at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with the Italian trying out his F1 title-winning 2017 Mercedes car.



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