Bottas determined to bury Baku misery with victory

Monday, 29 Apr, 2019

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix takes place tomorrow at 1.10pm BST, with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton looking to win his third race of the season.

Russell won at the Baku street circuit a year ago on his way to the Formula Two title but Kubica has never raced there before and Williams need all the track time they can get.

Russell is the reigning Formula Two champion, but Williams' uncompetitive vehicle means that, instead of making waves in his rookie season, he's now better known for his unplanned encounter with Azerbaijani drain covers.

"It could have been a very positive race but to be honest there is nothing wrong with Ferrari, just myself yesterday", he said. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fourth.

George Russell's Williams vehicle was damaged by a loose manhole cover - one of 300 on the twisty Baku street circuit - which meant only two cars clocked lap times. But the two Mercedes drove sensibly and gave the chasing pack no chance to capitalize on the appearance of the safety vehicle.

"It's clearly not what we want and it's not what you expect from a Formula One track". Vettel dropped further back, now 35 points behind Bottas.

In fact the champion drove so ruthlessly that he set the fastest lap, potentially earning that crucial extra bonus point.

The pair had overshot their run into turn 3 while battling for position, and as a result they had taken to the escape road without actually making contact.

30/51 - Bottas reduces Leclerc's lead to 1.2 seconds.

He also echoed the sentiments of his boss about how costly his error on Saturday was to Ferrari's chances and said he had given up hope of catching the leaders after his first stop.

With limited time to test setups ahead of Saturday's qualifying, teams flocked onto the circuit in the second session, but it too was disrupted.

The Frenchman crashed into the barriers after his Ferrari locked up on him.

14/51 - What a comeback.

Out front, Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel however had to stick to their plans and were settled with two-second gaps between them. The German has now sunk back to fifth!

Now running on his own at the front of the line of cars, he opted to stay there and ensure he got his tyres in the right window, rather than slow and let someone past and go for the two.

6/51 - Leclerc passes Sainz using DRS and goes seventh.

It was Bottas' second victory in four races this year after a winless 2018. Of course, the corners I have to drive as well.

"But you don't give up when times get tough".

Bottas started from pole position and kept Hamilton at bay as the Mercedes duo went wheel-to-wheel through the opening three bends.

Di Resta also believes that Leclerc's team-mate Sebastian Vettel will struggle as well. It all gets underway at 14:10 CET.