Formula One rookie Valtteri Bottas believes that the unpredictable Pirelli tires will work in his favor in 2013.
“I think it’s good that we have different tires to last year and everyone has to adapt to it a little bit. It’s definitely a good thing for me.”
This season, the Pirelli tires will have a shorter window in which their optimum pace is available, forcing the drivers to race conservatively to avoid making extra pit stops. Bottas, who will race for Williams in 2013, believes that the tires will help all of the drivers who will be making their F1 debuts this season.
“If you’re a rookie and there’s something new for the year it’s always better as it equals everyone a little bit.”
Besides Bottas, Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Giedo van der Garde (Caterham), Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton (both Marussia) will all be racing for the first time in Melbourne in two weeks time. Chilton is the only rookie without at least one Friday practice session under his belt, and Bottas feels that the extra running on Fridays in 2012 prepared him for the season ahead.
“I’ve been in all the race weekends last year and had the practices and some test days now, it’s still the first race, but I really want to get on with it and deliver really soon.”
At just twenty-three, Bottas is already showing a mature outlook towards racing in Formula One.
“If there are mistakes that’s just how it is and I need to learn from the mistakes and learn not to do it again. In F1 I’ve learned that it’s so important to finish the race and take the flag because if you want to score the points you need to finish the race. This will be the main thing next year, to always try to finish the race.”
His pace in the Friday sessions last season was highly impressive, regularly matching teammate Pastor Maldonado. The new flying Finn appears to have a bright future in the sport, and he will be keen on excelling in 2013.
Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.
“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”
Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.
“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”
In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.
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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.
Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.
Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.
Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.
Oliver Bennett completed the top five.
Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.