"The target was more points rather than a person" - Valtteri Bottas refutes questions on personal battle with Mercedes' George Russell at 2022 F1 Imola GP

2021 F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Valtteri Bottas (right) and his future Mercedes replacement George Russell
2021 F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Valtteri Bottas (right) and his future Mercedes replacement George Russell
Aditya Talpade

Valtteri Bottas has claimed beating George Russell was not his goal in the 2022 F1 Imola GP. The Finn tried his best to overtake Russell in the closing stages of the race, with many claiming he was fuelled by his 2021 collision with the Briton at the same venue.

The first F1 driver to have 3 helmets in 1 race weekend! 😳🤩@valtteribottas x @SociosMS came through with something special for the #MiamiGP 👀

Bottas had a memorable weekend in Italy, having finished P5 on the grid after showing impressive pace all weekend. The driver had an epic scrap with his 2022 Mercedes replacement George Russell towards the end of the race but was unable to get past the Briton despite having come close.

On being asked if the aim of his battle with Russell was anything personal, Bottas replied by saying:

“No, it was points. Chasing points and always trying to maximize every opportunity, every position you can make, and obviously, it was a nice target for me because from mid to the end of the race there wasn’t really much action around me. I was catching him a few tenths a lap and that just kept me pushing. The target was more points than comparison so that’s how it goes.”

Valtteri Bottas delivered Alfa Romeo's best result in more than two years, finding good rhythm once on slick tires. The Finnish driver, however, suffered a slow pitstop, claiming he could have beaten Russell to the line if not for the extra time taken to fit all four tires.

Valtteri Bottas claims the upcoming Miami GP track looks 'pretty amazing' after sim run

The former Mercedes driver claimed the Miami GP track looked promising as he had driven it extensively on the simulators. Speaking at the FIA drivers’ press conference, the Alfa Romeo driver said:

“I did [drive on simulator] last week. Proper running there in the sim. And actually, was nice to see, that it seems to be a really good track for overtaking. Like, I think the way the track has been planned, I think, from my side, it looks positive. "It should be good racing. Yeah, pretty long straights and a couple of really good overtaking opportunities. So, let’s see how it is done in real life but to me on paper, it looks good. And I’m sure as an event it’s going to be pretty amazing.”
Red flag! Valtteri is in the barriers, thankfully without consequences for him. The session is interrupted as the marshals recover the car. #MiamiGP

During Friday's FP1, however, the driver unfortunately crashed out while taking a fast left-hander, provoking a red flag. Having missed most of FP1 and all of FP2, Valtteri Bottas and the team will be looking to capitalize on Saturday's final practice session in hopes of finalizing a suitable setup for the qualifying session later.

Edited by Anurag C


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