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Valtteri Bottas Ditches F1 Car for a Lewis Hamilton-Inspired Ride in Treacherous Weather Before Chinese GP

Anirban Aly Mandal

Valtteri Bottas Ditches F1 Car for a Lewis Hamilton-Inspired Ride in Treacherous Weather Before Chinese GP

On the eve of the 2024 Chinese GP, Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas was seen getting a measure of the Shanghai International Circuit on his bicycle. A video doing the rounds of X (formerly Twitter) shows the Finnish racing ace taking his cycle out for a spin amid torrential rain at the circuit.

Lewis Hamilton, who was teammates with Bottas at Mercedes from 2017 to 2021, is also known for getting a feel for a new circuit. However, the Briton’s choice of conveyance is his scooter rather than a bicycle, as preferred by the #77 driver.

The last Chinese GP was all the way back in 2019 – when F1 was celebrating its 1000th race. However, due to the COVID pandemic, the track has not featured on the F1 calendar for the past five years.

Naturally, the drivers are all keen to get back up to speed with the track layout, its characteristics, and overtaking spots. Another reason why the teams and drivers are keen to check the track out before an official session is run is that after 2019, the track has been resurfaced.

A resurfaced track, as evidenced by the 2020 Portuguese GP held at Algarve, can be enough to cause trouble for the drivers. With virtually no rubber and a green track, the Chinese GP could be a very unpredictable race with tire warm-up playing a key role in the proceedings.

2024 Chinese GP is building up to be a drama-filled F1 thriller

The Shanghai International Circuit is infamous for high tire degradation. But with the track now being resurfaced, the focus on tire management would shift from preservation to bringing the rubber into its optimum window.

The weather in Shanghai could also add to the drama. While there are no certainties of rain during the main Grand Prix, the prediction for Friday shows that the track would be wet. Moreover, this year’s Chinese GP is a Sprint Race weekend.

This means that the drivers only have one practice session on Friday before jumping straight into the Sprint Shootout. With potentially limited running if there is wet weather, the teams could head into Saturday and Sunday with a virtually untested set-up.

Putting all these factors together, the biggest challenge that the 20 drivers would be facing is one of adaptability. The race might as well be one of attrition, with the fittest driver, in terms of agility and adaptability, taking the accolades away in China.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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