17th March, 2019
Bitter, bitter disappointment colored the final part of last season for Valtteri Bottas. At the Russian Grand Prix, and no longer in the championship fight, he was ordered to cede his lead to Lewis Hamilton. He duly played the team game but it would have been as hard to swallow as any moment in his career. Here in Melbourne, he found redemption in the most emphatic style by putting Hamilton to the sword in the very first race of the 2019 season and winning the Australian Grand Prix.
Bottas has been open about how frustrated he had felt with some of his performances last season and had come back this year with the absolute intent to make his mark. His triumph in doing so was palpable. “To whom it may concern: fuck you,” he announced over the radio after taking the flag in what he later described as the best race of his life.