Valtteri Bottas was able to gain sweet payback from last year’s heartbreak here in Baku. The Finn was a relatively trouble-free race, after consolidating the leadership of the race against Hamilton throughout the first lap.
“This victory feels really good. When you're starting from pole, you hope for a straightforward race - the less drama, the better it is. I didn't have the greatest start; after the wheelspin in China I was maybe just a little too cautious”.
Bottas had quite a moment with his teammate after the lights went out, as the two went wheel-to-wheel multiple times in the span of 10 seconds. “Lewis had a better start so we went side-by-side into Turn 1 and 2; it was good, respectful racing between the two of us and I'm glad I could pull up in front of him. Lewis was very quick today and was able to put on some pressure at the end of the race, so I had to make sure to not make any mistakes.”
Other than hailing the clean and sporting drive between himself and Hamilton, Bottas outlines the flawless and faultless job delivered by the team throughout the whole weekend in Baku. “I've already said it on the radio after the race: 'What a team!' The level at which everyone is performing at the moment is very impressive, both here at the track and back at the factory, and I'm really proud of everyone. We need to make sure we keep delivering at this level.”
Mercedes is certainly at the top of its game, having broken yet another record with their 4th consecutive 1-2 this season. We are now off to Spain in two weeks’ time, where all teams will be bringing major updates looking towards an intense pre-summer developmental term.