Austrian GP: Valtteri Bottas aims for a strong start
The Formula 1 2020 season's first race is set to be underway today in at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position on Saturday. Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen finished third. Ahead of a crunch race day, Bottas is hoping to fend Hamilton off and win the Grand Prix. Here's more.
Mercedes dominated over the weekend, with the cars being quickest by a significant margin in all the sessions. Hamilton lost out on pole position by by 0.012secs. Dutchman Verstappen was 0.538secs off pole. He will start the race on a different tyre than Mercedes. Bottas and Hamilton were superb on the day and their dominance could spell trouble for the likes of Red Bull.
Bottas told Sky Sports, that he wanted to start the season on a strong note after qualifying. He wants to turn the pole into a victory. "It's obviously exactly how I wanted to start the season," Bottas said. "But the main day is [Sunday] and I already have my thoughts on that, try to maximize and try to turn this pole into a victory."
Winning the opening race of a shortened season could be significant. Bottas will have to back himself here. The second race also set to be held in Austria next weekend. Hamilton acknowledged the fact that this is a strong track for Bottas. However, the Briton knows Sunday is the day where things will count. Both drivers will battle head to head.
The Austrian GP might not be a two-horse fight. Verstappen is very much in the race and will challenge the duo. He will get to start on a more durable medium tyre as compared to the soft to be used by Mercedes. Hamilton is expecting a tough fight and believes the race will be much closer.
Bottas said Mercedes need to be wary of Red Bull on Sunday. "We don't want to go thinking it's only us, so we think and hope that there's going to be a threat from elsewhere," he said. He is expecting a good battle between himself and Hamilton. "It's also going to be a good battle with me and Lewis, I have no doubt."