Bottas aiming for strong showing in Russia

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas is determined “to have a good weekend” at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi this week.

Bottas has not been at his best thus far as he started off the 2016 Formula 1 season by finishing eighth in Australia before going on to come ninth in Bahrain and 10th in the most recent event in China.

While the 26-year-old will be disappointed with his start to the season, he is confident he can turn his fortunes around in Sochi as he came third at the inaugural edition of the event in 2014. However, he failed to replicate his success at the Russian Grand Prix last year as he crashed on the last lap, but was still classified to have finished 12th.

“Russia is my neighbouring country, being Finnish. Sochi is a very technical track and I find it really interesting to drive. I’ve always had pretty good results there,” he told reporters. “Last year it didn’t end up the way I wanted, but normally I’m pretty quick and we are competitive there as a team.

“One challenge in Sochi is that the asphalt is quite smooth, so in qualifying it’s not easy to get the tyres to work quickly enough for the timed lap. That has been a challenge in previous years, but hopefully we have fixed it and I’m sure we’re going to have a good weekend in Russia.”

Meanwhile, Bottas’ team-mate Felipe Massa is hoping to build on his encouraging start to the season, which has seen him finish fifth in Australia, eighth in Bahrain and sixth in China.

“Sochi is a nice track to drive. It’s a mix between a city circuit and a normal circuit. It’s a race I enjoy and one we have traditionally done well at,” he said. “I don’t know Russia very much, as we stay in a small town and spend most of our time at the hotel or the track. I like racing there and I hope the event gets bigger every year.

“From what I know of the track, I’m hopeful it will suit this year’s car, but it’s too early to say for sure.”

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