Mercedes oozing 'calm determination' ahead of Russian GP

After the drama it endured at Monza, the Mercedes team heads to the Russian Grand Prix with a... The post Mercedes oozing 'calm determination' ahead of Russian GP appeared first on F1i.com.

Mercedes oozing 'calm determination' ahead of Russian GP

After the drama it endured at Monza, the Mercedes team heads to the Russian Grand Prix with a sense of calm determination says Toto Wolff.

The Brackley squad saw its chances of clinching a race win in Italy squandered by a mid-race clash between Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The run-in between the two title protagonists paved the way for a sensational McLaren 1-2 while Valtteri Bottas upheld Mercedes' honor by stepping on to the podium.

But overall, it was "bittersweet" weekend for the reigning world champions.

"After a demanding and intense triple-header, we are reenergised and ready to go," said Wolff in Mercedes ahaed of this week's round of racing at Sochi.

"Last time out in Monza was bittersweet - a commanding performance and strong result for Valtteri but a feeling of missed points for Lewis, who had the potential to fight for the win.

"The pleasing thing is that the W12 looks competitive and with just eight races to go, now is the time to use our experience and focus on the details and processes which will get us over the line."

©Mercedes

To say that Mercedes has always gone well at Russia's F1 venue would be an understatement as the German manufacturer has prevailed in every single Russian Grand Prix held along the shores of the Black Sea since the event's inclusion in the world championship in 2014.

  • Read also: Hamilton relentlessness will 'wear down' Russell – Coulthard

"We're looking forward to racing again in Russia, it is a circuit we've gone well at over the years and both our drivers have enjoyed great results in Sochi," added Wolff.

"We're hoping to continue our run of success in Russia but know that this year is an entirely different beast, and we're expecting another intense weekend.

"Last year, this race was one of the first to welcome fans back to the grandstands and it was incredible to feel the passion and buzz of the crowds again.

"We've just been treated to fantastic support in Spa, Zandvoort and Monza, and this weekend will be no different."

©Mercedes

Hamilton will be gunning for a fifth career victory at Sochi while Bottas has won twice in Russia, the Finn collecting his second win in 2020.

"Our aim is to pull together a strong weekend, starting in FP1 and building one session at a time," said Wolff.

"Lewis is in the tenth championship battle of his F1 career, and he is laser focused on what he needs to deliver in the next eight races.

"As for Valtteri, he's driving better than ever, like we saw in Monza - and he will be flat out every weekend.

"There's a calm determination about the team right now and the business end of a season, fighting for championships, is exactly what we enjoy the most."

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Bottas confirmed for 2022 Race of Champions

Valtteri Bottas has become the first active Formula 1 driver to confirm he will take part in the... The post Bottas confirmed for 2022 Race of Champions appeared first on F1i.com.

Bottas confirmed for 2022 Race of Champions

Valtteri Bottas has become the first active Formula 1 driver to confirm he will take part in the next Race of Champions event, set to be held on snow and ice in Sweden next February.

This annual competition brings together the world’s finest drivers from all the disciplines of motorsport to compete head-to-head in an assortment of vehicles, both as part of a national team and individually.

Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Felipe Massa, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris, Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo have all taken part in the past.

Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen, former NASCAR champions Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch, IndyCar stars Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden, and WRC stars Sebastian Loeb, Petter Solberg and Sebastian Ogier have also previously joined the line-up.

This will be Bottas' first appearance at ROC and will come during the off-season period where he will be moving from his current team Mercedes to a new home at Alfa Romeo.

"I’m really looking forward to finally be able to compete in the Race Of Champions after watching the event on TV for many years," Bottas said on Monday.

"The fact that this year’s event will be held on snow and ice makes it even more interesting," he added. "I’ve competed in the Arctic Rally a few times so hopefully that experience will help.

"We aim to beat the strong competition and especially our Nordic neighbours from Sweden and Norway to add to Finland’s many wins both in the individual ROC and the ROC Nations Cup."

©RaceofChampions

ROC President Fredrik Johnsson was delighted to see the 32-year-old Finn join the line-up for the next event.

"Valtteri has told us since several years that he would like to participate in the Race Of Champions," he said. "We are very happy that he is finally able to make his ROC debut in our first ROC World Final on Snow & Ice.

"Finland has a proud history at the Race Of Champions and it will be fascinating to see how the longstanding sporting rivalry between Finland and host nation Sweden plays out.

"We always have a lot of very fast drivers at ROC, but the new parallel ice track on the frozen ocean will be a big x factor."

Kristensen, Loeb and Solberg have already been announced for the event, along with Mattias Ekström, Travis Pastrana, reigning WRC champion Johan Kristoffersson and rising rallying star Oliver Solberg with more drivers - including a partner for Bottas in Team Finland - to be confirmed.

The event was last held in Mexico in 2019 but recent competitions have been postponed because of coronavirus.

This will be the first time that the final has moved away from an asphalt track in a stadium in favour of a purpose-built course on the frozen Baltic Sea at Sweden’s Pite Havsbad.

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