Bottas' top three wins for Mercedes in Formula 1


October 13, 2021

by Will Knight 

Valtteri Bottas has won 10 races since he joined Mercedes in 2017, taking his first win at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix and storming to his most recent victory at last weekend's Turkish Grand Prix. However, what are the Finn's best three wins for the Silver Arrows? 

Bottas began his career with Williams Racing in 2013 before moving to Mercedes to replace Nico Rosberg, the reigning world champion. Now, the Finn will leave the team at the end of this season before heading to the Alfa Romeo Racing outfit for 2022.

However, despite criticism which the Finn has received, Bottas has been a crucial part of Mercedes' dominance over the past four years, winning the Constructors Championship from 2017 to 2020. The team also lead the 2021 championship after the Turkish Grand Prix. 

So, with ten wins to look at, what are his very best victories in Formula 1 for Mercedes?

Australia, 2019: 

Bottas had undergone a winless 2018 season, briefly considering leaving the sport after team orders prevented him from taking a second consecutive win in Russia. However, he would race with Mercedes for the 2019 season. 

After qualifying at Melbourne, teammate Lewis Hamilton had taken Pole Position, beating the Finn to the honour by just over a tenth of a second. However, Bottas snatched the lead from the then-five-time world champion at the start of the race. 

From then, he never looked back and took the fourth win of his career. The win-less 2018 season had been removed from Bottas' mind, and it began a feisty and impressive season as he put up a brief fight for the world championship against Hamilton. 

United States, 2019: 

After taking two more victories that season in Azerbaijan and Japan, Bottas' chance of winning the championship was all-but-over as his teammate approached a sixth world title in the USA. 

However, the Finn's fighting spirit was not knocked down and took Pole Position by just 0.012 seconds over Sebastian Vettel. Meanwhile, Hamilton could only qualify fifth after Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc slotted into third and fourth. 

With this, Bottas maintained the lead at the start and led into turn one. Vettel struggled due to issues with his Ferrari, allowing Hamilton and Verstappen through. This did not phase Bottas, and the Flying Finn pushed ahead. 

Bottas pitted on lap 14 whilst Hamilton, who was on the Hard tyre, continued on in the race. Hamilton, on the other hand, continued on a one-stop strategy. With this, Bottas had to catch, pass and push on from Hamilton, something which the Finn was easily able to do. 

After his second stop, Bottas wanted pure focus and told his team not to talk to him. He was behind his teammate once again, but on lap 52 of 56, the 77 car passed 44 and re-took the lead of the US Grand Prix. 

He would win the race in Texas, but unfortunately for the race winner, the focus would not be on him as Hamilton crossed the line to win his sixth world title. Bottas' 7th win, then, is often forgotten due to the milestone of Hamilton's 2019 title celebrations, but it remains one of his best. 

Turkey, 2021: 

Bottas' most recent win is, to his own admission, perhaps his best. After struggling throughout the early part of the 2021 season, the Finn lost his Mercedes contract before the Italian Grand Prix; signing with Alfa Romeo for 2022 and beyond. 

However, after this, his performance suddenly improved. The Finn went fastest in Qualifying at Monza before winning Formula 1's second Sprint of the season. However, despite starting at the back, he took a podium by the end of the Italian Grand Prix. 

Heading into Turkey, Hamilton was handed a ten-place grid penalty after Mercedes opted to change his power unit. Because of this, the seven-time world champion's Pole Position was instead handed to Bottas. 

At the race start, the 32-year-old maintained the lead, losing it at the pit stops as Leclerc continued in the Grand Prix. He would take the lead back after passing the Ferrari driver into turn one on lap 47. 

After this, it was a case of keeping it on the road, something which Bottas was able to do whilst also pulling further away from the rest of the pack. He would take his tenth, and last win to date, at Istanbul Park. 

When reflecting on the race, Bottas deemed it his best partly due to the harsh conditions.

"Today was probably one of the best races I've had ever," he began. "Apart from that one little slide, everything was under control. The car has been fantastic in every possible condition this weekend and I had great confidence with it. 

"When there's only one drying line it doesn't take much for you to go off, you need maximum focus all through the race and so today feels like a well-earned victory. 

"My first win of the year too which feels great and I was happy to bring it home. It also took points off Red Bull so great for me and the team."

With just six races remaining with the Silver Arrows, there is a chance this could be Bottas' last race win this season. Hamilton's title fight with Verstappen will make increasing the Brit's points haul one of Mercedes' priorities. 

However, if Bottas can re-capture his fighting spirit from the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the Finn may well be able to end his time with the German team on a high, as the grid heads to Texas for the US Grand Prix.

Image credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

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