Valtteri Bottas staying in the third starting box in the Russian GP is not as bad as on many other tracks. The specialty of the Sochi track guarantees the Finn a very tasty starting position for Sunday’s race.
Bottas has a pole man in the fight Lewis Hamiltonia against the advantage of two weapons: suction assistance and ring benefit.
But they need to be able to take advantage.
– Valtteri’s race will be decided at the start, Iltalehti’s F1 expert Jyrki Järvilehto resemble.
The long acceleration to the opening bend offers Bottas a chance to get a huge speed advantage over Hamilton. The first brake must be determined as the winner in order for the second advantage to be activated.
In terms of Bottas, it is annoying that the second box Max Verstappen starts like a Finn with a medium-hard mixture. It has an advantage if no one is driving ahead. Having Hamilton hold its top spot is an advantage more British-held.
– The third square is not bad, but Valtteri made this fight more difficult for himself, Järvilehto admits.
Mercedes has been in a wilder mood in Sochi than usual. The speed difference to all the others is massive.
So this when driving clean laps. In the race, the storyline of the story can go from one-off to new if Verstappen takes the top spot.
– Max is always a dangerous opponent. Mercedes must now be really careful that the clear plan is not completely ruined, Järvilehto says.
Suction aid rises to play a big role in pre-speculation in the race, but it still doesn’t mean a pile-Hamilton wreck.
– The first screen is always the best starting point. Hamilton has a softer tire at his disposal, so he gets a little advantage from it when accelerating. The pressures are on others, they have to pass him, Järvilehto reminds.
This is Bottas’ job. If he gets to drive with a harder tire mixture ahead of his teammate, the British afternoon will be considerably more difficult.