Valtteri Bottas was voted Driver of the Weekend following his breakthrough victory in last week’s Russian Grand Prix.
It’s the fifth time Bottas has been named Driver of the Weekend but the first time he’s topped the poll since he finished second at the Hockenheimring in 2014 by splitting the two Mercedes drivers.
Here’s why almost 80% of F1 Fanatic readers named him the best driver of last weekend’s grand prix.
Valtteri Bottas’s Russian Grand Prix weekend
The Ferraris were quick in Russia, heading every practice session. Bottas has always gone well at Sochi, and set the pace in the early part of practice, but was pipped by both the red cars in Q3. He was less than a tenth of a second off pole position.
He made a superb start, however, and used the long run and the headwind to great effect. Having easily picked off Kimi Raikkonen he also out-dragged Sebastian Vettel to turn one.
Having taken the lead, Bottas was able to wield the excellent pace on the ultra-soft tyres he demonstrated in practice on Friday. Vettel edges closer to him towards the end of the first stint, and ran longer, but wasn’t able to jump ahead of the Mercedes driver as Bottas made light work of traffic.
Bottas made arguably his only mistake of the weekend when he locked up on his set of super-soft tyres, giving Vettel an opportunity to close. He withstood considerable pressure to maintain his lead and deliver an impressive breakthrough triumph.
I think Raikkonen summed it up best getting Bottas and Hamilton mixed up. If someone told you their result was the other way round I’d happily sing Hamiltons praise, stealing a win from the faster Ferrari’s while the teammate brought the car home in the position it belonged in.
Bottas thoroughly outperformed Hamilton this weekend, I didn’t expect that strong a showing from him so soon but I had a feeling he might have more potential Than Rosberg ever had. No ‘DRS glitch’ to explain this one, just the better driver and he soaked up the pressure from Vettel like a champion. Well deserved and hopefully the first of many.
I was wondering why Bottas did not pass Massa earlier, as it seems he could have. But he had Vettel on his tail and knew that Vettel would have the DRS on the main straight and made sure he’d have that as well by staying behind the back marker in the parts where Vettel could not pass him.
Top job by Valtteri.
It should not go unnoticed that Valtteri lost two seconds of his five-second lead on Vettel when one earlier backmarker held him up in the twisty bits while Vettel passed same backmarker with DRS on the straight, gaining rather than losing from it. But Bottas did not curse on the radio and kept his middle finger on the wheel.
He deserves driver of the weekend not only for his driving skills, but also for being best of all in manners.
Have to give it to Bottas. Vettel a contender as well due to excellent qualification (after all, it is driver of the weekend).
But the Mercedes was simply quick enough in the tow after the start, and then Bottas was very fast in his first stint (surprisingly so).
Russian Grand Prix winners and losers
Few other drivers stood out in an otherwise unmemorable race though the Force India pair won some praise.
An honourable mention to the Force India drivers. The car this year is for between ninth and twelfth place. Yet somehow they deliver.
Force India are showing race after race how having two good drivers is important if you are chasing points in the midfield. As to who was the best driver, i’ll go with Vettel. Obviously good job by Bottas and Hulkenberg.
The driver who retied before the race even started didn’t miss much.
Perez, Hulkenberg and Sainz seemed to do a pretty good race but we saw too little of them.
So who is Driver of the Weekend? Of course Alonso, for avoiding the race altogether, it was so awful.
Valtteri Bottas’s Driver of the Weekend wins from 2011 to date
- 2013 United States Grand Prix
- 2014 Austrian Grand Prix
- 2014 British Grand Prix
- 2014 German Grand Prix
- 2017 Russian Grand Prix
Driver of the weekend: The Twitter verdict
The widespread praise for Bottas continued on Twitter as well.
Just managed to catch the F1. Super happy for Bottas. So well deserved
— Ali Smith (@40_thieves) April 30, 2017
— Kevin Vira (@kevinvira) April 30, 2017
Congratulations @ValtteriBottas on your 1st F1 win, amazing drive fantastic result 🏁🏎 x
— Deborah David (@Debbz92) April 30, 2017
— Tom Price (@tompricedrummer) April 30, 2017
Catching up on the F1 race from today. Alonso didn't even start. Maybe he'll jump ship to IndyCar depending how he does at the 500.
— Nick C Howell (@nickchowell) April 30, 2017
— Sully (@Sullyvanov) April 30, 2017
Don't think Jolyon Palmer will be an F1 driver next year. Doesn't have the race craft in my opinions. Average driver. #SkyF1
— Miguel (@18Miguel10) April 30, 2017
— Martin Beynon (@martin_beynon) April 30, 2017
All things being equal in F1, perhaps some drivers aren't as good as we are led to believe. Chuffed to bits for Valtteri. #humbleguy#bottas
— dudsey (@dudsey_) April 30, 2017
— Margaret Wu (@WuMargaret) April 30, 2017
Congrats to Bottas on first win, but the race wasn't very exciting, from what I seen there was not a single overtake after lap 1 #F1
— Dan 'JC' (@TheSamuraiJC) April 30, 2017
— Gemma Staples (@gembooo19) April 30, 2017
— Manish Patel (@Baggies20) April 30, 2017
— Arnab Roy (Arnie) (@MegaArnab) April 30, 2017
— Stotty© (@Stotty2910) April 30, 2017
— KabalGuy! 🇨🇦 (@kabalguy) April 30, 2017
— Bridgette Rist🌼 (@rainbowfreak_x) April 30, 2017
— Jody (@J_Robzz) April 30, 2017
— Satish (@scg11) April 30, 2017
— Dan Gates (@IndieGates) April 30, 2017
— Jess Hutton (@JessLHutton) April 30, 2017
— Dawn Milford (@DawnMilford02) April 30, 2017
— AWOE@WWELondon (@AWOEOfficial) April 30, 2017
— Hayley Moore (@HaylzMoore92) April 30, 2017
Just caught up on the #RussianGP. All I have to say is people said that Bottas wasn't a good fit for Mercedes. I knew he was the guy!
— CASEMSTR (@_CASEMSTR) April 30, 2017
— SuburbanGent (@SuburbanGentUK) April 30, 2017
— Calum Fairweather (@calumf1991) April 30, 2017
— Remington Hudson (@RemiCloud9) April 30, 2017
— Paul Stubbs (@Paul_S82) April 30, 2017
Surprised Ocon did not even get a mention today #RussianGP! Brilliant 7th place!
— Ben Hanekom (@StarWors_F1) April 30, 2017
What has been wrong with Hamilton this weekend. Over 30 seconds behind your teammate 😕#F1
— Ollie Davies (@OllieDavies631) April 30, 2017
— Sheldon Bob (@SheldonJBob) April 30, 2017
Everyone was so focused on Bottas winning his first, no one noticed that Lance Stroll finished a race for the first time this year #F1
— Mohammad Rmeity (@MohammadRmeity) April 30, 2017
— Hannah (@hanreidy27) April 30, 2017
— Chirag Khanna (@Chirag5Khanna) April 30, 2017
— Joannah Barnard (@jarnabarnard) April 30, 2017
Great drive from the Ferrari boys & congratulations to Valterri Bottas #RussianGP
— Bongani Nano (@iamBonganiNano) April 30, 2017
A big well done to Valtteri Bottas on his first F1 win. Thoroughly deserved it and I hope it's the first of many.
— R. Molloy (@padawanbeck84) April 30, 2017
Great first #F1 win for Bottas! Hamilton must be worried. Is it possible that another driver is faster in the same machinery again…?
— Nicol Louw (@NicolL_CARmag) April 30, 2017
Notice that when Hamilton wins he "'drove a great race' when he loses like today he 'was hampered by poor car performance' #RussianGP
— Linda Wooldridge (@lw00l) April 30, 2017
— Ray Singfan (@Motamaaf) April 30, 2017
2017 Russian Grand Prix
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- F1 better without “artificial” overtaking – Vettel
- Honda unreliability “completely unacceptable” – Alonso
- Maiden victory earn Bottas first Driver of the Weekend win since 2014
- 2017 Russian Grand Prix team radio transcript