Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas has taken his first rallying win in the Rallycircuit Cote d’Azur event at Paul Ricard.

Fresh from ending his best-ever F1 campaign by finishing runner-up in the 2019 standings to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton with four grand prix wins, Bottas contested the Paul Ricard event in what marked his latest foray into rallying.

The Finn led five of the nine stages in his Citroen DS3 World Rally Car and beat nearest rival Robert Consani, a former European Rally Championship driver, to the overall victory by 50 seconds.

It is the second rally race Bottas has entered after he won a stage and finished fifth overall on his rallying debut at the Arctic Lapland Rally back in January.

Speaking prior to the event at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Bottas said he would not rule out a full-time switch to rallying once his F1 career is over, though he has no plans to make a move in the near-future.

“I enjoy rallying, I find it lots of fun,” he explained. “It’s on tarmac as well, and part of it is on the track, so it could be pretty suitable for me.

“I see it as a rally with quite low risk in terms of safety or anything. It seems like a nice event. It should be good fun and a good way to start the holidays.

“You never know what’s ahead in life or what’s going to happen, but at the moment I like it, it’s a fun thing for me to do, and it’s also good for me to drive something different, for my skills,” he added.

“I haven’t thought that far, I still see myself in F1 for quite some time, I’ve got lots to give and achieve and get into my goals.

“One day I’ll see, later, what I want to do. For the moment I find it a lot of fun. I would say never say never.”

 

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