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Williams takes comfort from solid Bottas debut

The Williams team left Melbourne with no points from the Australian Grand Prix, but was able to take heart from a good first race outing for rookie driver Valtteri Bottas.
It hadn't been the smoothest start to the 2013 F1 season thanks to the rain-hit qualifying sessions, and Williams came away from Melbourne with no points to celebrate, but at least Valtteri Bottas had been given a chance to settle into the cockpit and find his racing feet.

"It was good that Valtteri was able to bring the car home in his first race," said the team's technical director Mike Coughlan, after the Finn ended the Australian Grand Prix in a solid 14th place with no dramas along the way.

"Valtteri had a solid race début and brought the car home in difficult conditions," agreed Laurent Debout, the team support leader for Williams' engine partners Renault Sport F1. "But overall this weekend has been disappointing," he confessed.

"I had a good start from my grid position and it felt great to be back racing again," said Bottas, adding: "A small mistake a few laps in cost me some places though."

Despite that, he didn't think he could have improved on his position in Melbourne. "We got the maximum performance we could from the car today and although the pace isn't there yet, there are still some positives to take away," he insisted.

Bottas' day certainly went better than that of his team mate Pastor Maldonado, who ended the day early when he spun off into the gravel on lap 24 and the Williams ended up beached, unable to continue.

"It was a disappointing end to a difficult weekend for myself and the team," admitted Maldonado. "The car was not responding as we hoped in the conditions today and unfortunately I lost the back end and ended up in the gravel."

The Venezuelan had been sharp in his criticism of the new FW35 this weekend, having labelled it "undriveable" in the wet after failing to get through the rain-hit Q1 qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

"We need to work hard to solve the problems in the car to be ready for the next race in Malaysia," he said after the race on Sunday.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.03.2013- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team FW35 leads Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW35
17.03.2013- Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team FW35 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
17.03.2013- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW35 retires from the race
17.03.2013- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW35 retires from the race
17.04.2014- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team, E22
17.04.2014- Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
17.04.2014- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team, E22
17.04.2014- Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
17.04.2014- Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
17.04.2014- Williams tech detail
17.04.2014- Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
17.04.2014- Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
17.04.2014- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team, E22
17.04.2014- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team, E22
Damon Hill on track during the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix
Ayrton Senna collides with Nicola Larini at the start of the Pacific Grand Prix
Felipe Nasr (BRA), third driver, Williams F1 Team 
09.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day Two, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Felipe Nasr (BRA), third driver, Williams F1 Team 
09.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day Two, Sakhir, Bahrain.

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