Sunday , October 24 2021

Winless Bottas has great hopes for Abu Dhabi


Valtteri Bottas had hoped victory in Abu Dhabi a year ago to set him up for a success but 20 races on and despite his Mercedes team repurchasing both Formula One titles, it is still his last victory.

The 29-year-old Finnish has a last chance to avoid the season's empty, a rarity when driving a title winning car and travels to the Yas Marina circuit next week and is ready to start in 2019 in mind.

"It's possible," he told Reuters at a factory celebration on Mercedes's fifth succeeding title of double and team mate Lewis Hamilton's fifth driver's crown when he asked if he could repeat last year's triple pin win and fastest turn.

"Last year I had a good weekend there, so definitely it's possible.

"Of course, the field is now closer than last year but my only goal for the weekend will be pole and win so I'll try all I can to do it.

"It will make the winter a bit more beautiful."

Hamilton had to settle for others in Abu Dhabi last year, denying his 10th win in the campaign, but titled already sure.

This time he has already won 10 times in 2018 – his average in the last five seasons – and got the title early again.

Bottas has meanwhile been unlucky and loyal, denied by a puncture three turns from the end while leading in Azerbaijan last April and owning law orders in Russia in September to let Hamilton pass by after starting the Polish.

He does not expect any special favorites now, even with the titles won.

"He deserves a victory, but he has to go and win it," said Mercedes Team boss Toto Wolff. "He has the ability to do that."

Bottas said he accepted the seasonal cuts as part of the sport.

"I know I've got it in me and the latest competitions have been tough. I've definitely missed those successful moments," he said.

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