JANUARY 18, 2021
Covid opens World Rally window for Bottas
The ongoing covid crisis may provide Valtteri Bottas with the chance to contest Finland's forthcoming round of the World Rally championship.
The Mercedes driver has just finished sixth in the Arctic Lapland Rally, and thinks covid restrictions may now open up a window for him to stay in the country for the WRC round in late February.
"My calendar is very busy," he told Iltalehti newspaper.
"This year the Formula 1 season has 23 races so it's very difficult to plan something else. But let's see what opportunities appear.
"It is also very important what kind of car I could get," said Bottas. "Rallying is my hobby but it's not cheap, so we'll have to use common sense."
Bottas says he would usually be in Europe in late February, but the season opener in Australia has been postponed and restrictions mean flying to Mercedes' UK factory may not be viable.
"I don't know yet whether the schedule will allow me to or not," he said when asked if he will be on the start-line for Finland's WRC round in Rovaniemi.
"It all depends on whether I will have to fulfil any obligations to Mercedes on those days. So it's an open question due to the global situation, but if there is a free window in my calendar, I will really think about it.
"Usually I fly to England at the end of February to work at the Mercedes factory, but now it makes no sense because the preparation for the season is a little different.
"Team meetings are now held remotely," revealed Bottas, "and fortunately, all the topics that are discussed are more or less already familiar to me."