Flying Finn arrives in the nick of time

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 2011, 12:00am


Valtteri Bottas lived up to the famous tagline of other more illustrious countrymen - Flying Finn - when he made it to the first qualifying session for the Formula Three Grand Prix with just 20 minutes left on the clock. He had raced all the way from Abu Dhabi to be there in time.

'I got off the ferry and ran to the pit and just got in and went for it. It wasn't the best preparation, but I had to do it,' said Bottas after his mad dash from the Middle East.

The Galaxy Double R Racing Team ace had been forced at the last minute to change his Macau plans when Williams called him up to test their Formula One car in Abu Dhabi.

'It was sudden. We had to make quick changes and everything would have gone well, but unfortunately I missed the flight out from Abu Dhabi last night and had to catch another which was delayed. Then I missed the ferry from Hong Kong, too. It was quite tight a difficult trip,' he said.

Bottas (pictured) finished a slow 27th in the first qualifying session, with the other drivers making the most of the drier conditions earlier.

On his third visit to Macau - he finished third last year - Bottas is aiming to be number one. 'I wouldn't have come here if I didn't want to win the race. That is my aim,' said the Finn, who will be hoping to be flying by the time Sunday comes around.

Spaniard Roberto Merhi was the fastest in the qualifying session but had to pay a price for it: he crashed his car.

Fabio Ravaioli, press delegate for the FIA World Touring Car Championship, whose drivers only had a test run yesterday, said: 'It was a bit of a lottery out there thanks to the weather. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.'

Chevrolet's Rob Huff got his preparations off to a perfect start when he topped the times, with teammate Yvan Muller in second place.