Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas fought back from troubles on Day 1 to finish inside the Top 10 in 2020 Arctic Lapland Rally.

Having made his debut in 2019, where Bottas finished in the Top 5, the Finn returned for a second time in Arctic Lapland Rally this year with PH Sport in a Citroen DS3 WRC car from 2016. He drove a latest Ford Fiesta last year but had to content with an old car in 2020.

Bottas started off well on Friday in the snow-capped Arctic Lapland Rally but faced issues in the final stage where he hit a tree and dropped to 22nd overall with co-driver Timo Rautiainen. The snow made life difficult as he hasn’t got enough experience.

The final day brought some success for Bottas where he climbed upto eighth in the penultimate stage but then eventually finished ninth overall, with a total time of 1h47m56.9s. He finished second in the LK1 category, using the Pirelli tyres.

“It was better day than Friday,” said Bottas to Ilta Sanomat. “The morning went well and the weather was good. I have to say, after that, it was a pretty challenging day. There was a lot of snow, and the more it came, the more my pace worsened compared to others.

“Sometimes there was grip and sometimes not and it was difficult to ascertain the corners. The visibility was also poor, something which I am not used to it.” While he was ninth in the standings, Bottas was classified second in the LK1 category behind the overall winner.

The new WRC racer for Toyota, Kalle Rovanpera, with co-driver Jonne Halttunen, dominated the 2020 edition of the Arctic Lapland Rally to with in his Yaris, ahead of Teemu Asunmaa (with co-driver Jani Salo) in a Skoda Fabia R5 evo.

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