Overtaken by the British driver twice during the race – having out-qualified him by a mere 0.026s the previous day – the only reason he finished ahead of the newcomer was because, other than a ‘botched’ pit stop, Russell suffered a subsequent puncture.
In the aftermath of the race, other than the usual calls for Sergio Perez to be given Alex Albon’s seat for 2021, there were demands on social media for Bottas to be dropped in favour of Russell.
Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi, and with the identity of his Yas Marina teammate yet to be confirmed, while admitting that he needs to raise his game, Bottas pointed to his run of bad luck this season.
“When a driver is having a bad race, sure you have to deal with it,” said the Finn. “I’ve learned from the past that sometimes the best thing to do is to block everything and not look at anything, so after Sunday, I really haven’t looked at a single headline or a single news article, or social media” he added.
“That’s the way sometimes you have to do it, and it worked for me. I feel full of energy again for the new weekend, and feel that I’m in a place that I can perform, so that’s the main thing.
“Since Imola, it’s been a run of really bad luck,” he continued, “and I cannot remember the last time I was on the podium. It’s true that I feel that I’ve not really been performing at my best in the last two races, but of course I still try to extract everything as I can.
“There’s many factors in this sport,” he added, “sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s what do you do yourself in the car and outside the car.
“All that I can say that I can do much better than if you look at the last four races on average, I feel that I need to be better.”
Referring to last week’s race, which saw neither Mercedes driver on the podium for the second time this season, he said: “It started from the start. It could have been quite a different race. But yeah, it’s, again, it’s something through and it’s all analysed, and I know what I can try and do better next time.
“That’s about the reflection, and of course, I’m really happy that there’s a race immediately a week after a disappointing race for myself.
“I know from the past, it’s not everything to have the best race of your life or a positive ending to the season,” he insisted. “But for sure, it helps. It would be much nicer feeling to go into the break with a with a good result, a race win under your belt.
“That is the only target for this weekend, back to a normal type of track and everything. I look forward to it.”
Check out our Thursday gallery from Yas Island, here.