Bottas’ best race ever feels like it happened ‘to someone else’
Valtteri Bottas says his best ever and his best performance in 2019 was in hindsight a “weird” experience that he feels happened to someone else.
This year Bottas added four wins to his track record in F1, but it was his dominate triumph in the season-opening round in Melbourne that the Finn has singled out.
It was a clean sweep for the Mercedes driver on race day in Australia, with Bottas snatching the lead at the start from beating teammate and poleman Lewis Hamilton and never looking back.
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However, as he does look back on his memorable win Down Under, the easiness of his achievement is what stands out.
“The race I had… it’s weird, when I think about it, it feels like it was someone else. It was surreal. It just felt too easy,” he told Motorsport.com.
“It’s a funny feeling, so that was definitely my best race ever, best Sunday ever. And I wasn’t on the pole, so I had a good start from second place, and I got the lead there.”
Despite a strong start to his 2019 campaign, Bottas was overhauled and left behind by Hamilton, only emerging as a challenger in the second part of the season during which he won again in Japan and in Austin.
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The 30-year-old concluded his year 87 points behind his six-time world champion Mercedes teammate. The gap was significant but Bottas still casts a positive light on his campaign.
“I can see a little bit the improvements and gains I’ve been able to make as a driver and the amount I’ve been able to learn, within this year and from last year,” he said.
“It is a very nice feeling to see that actually the hard work is at some point paying off.
“When I look at the season, of course, when Lewis secured the title, the initial feeling was disappointment, because I knew it’s game over again, and I kind of failed in my goal.
“But very quickly, the race [win] helped as well, to keep the good feeling. I look at this season in a very positive way, because of all the learning I’ve been able to do.”
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