22 June 2014
F1 Austrian Grand Prix: First podium for Bottas
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas delivers in the Austrian Grand Prix and secures his maiden F1 podium finish
Valtteri Bottas followed up his best-ever qualifying performance with his best-ever race result today in the 2014 F1 Austrian Grand Prix and afterwards admitted it was 'difficult to put into words' just what he was feeling.
Bottas put in a fine drive at the Red Bull Ring and ran second in the early stages, despite initially dropping behind eventual race winner, Nico Rosberg at the start.
Although the Finn was unable to stay ahead of the Mercedes' later on, he got the jump on Felipe Massa following the first round of pit-stops and was then comfortably 'best of the rest' and third at the chequered flag – 9.2 seconds up on his Williams team-mate.
“I'm really, really happy – it is difficult to put into words really,” said Bottas after the eighth round in the 2014 F1 World Championship and his first ever F1 podium result. “I'm just really thankful to the team for giving me this car. It's been a long way for us since last year, I mean, and many, many years at Williams and now it's so much better. The race was exactly what we needed at this point – clean, nice, everything went like planned really. The car was good for the podium this time and I'm just so happy."
“I think overall the best-ever weekend [for me],” he added. “So, really happy. Really happy for us as a team [too]. That was the best champagne I've ever tasted. We were really strong the whole weekend and that's down to all the hard work.
“Of course it was a good track for us. You never know what's going to happen in the next race but overall we are making progress. Step-by-step we are getting there, getting closer to the positions where we belong. I'm really pleased. The race today: it was really nice to have a really nice, clean race.
“I had one pitstop that really put in me in the fight and that changed my race, so well done to the boys for that. I had put in a good lap before that and so I got in front on Felipe and from there I could manage my pace with the cars in front.
“Having both cars score good points is what we wanted and so third and fourth for the team is a great result. There are still two places to go up the podium, but for now we will enjoy this moment,” he continued.
Asked if he could have won had the team adopted a different strategy, Bottas replied: “It's a difficult one. We need to always – like we always do – we need to analyse if there's anything we could have done better.
“Today it was difficult to know the real difference between the option and prime because the prime tyre has been taking quite a long time to warm up so we really thought it would be really difficult to undercut because it takes many laps to warm up and get a good pace after the supersoft tyre. We need to analyse, [as I said] it's difficult to say.
“For the moment, however, I am just really happy with what we have done as a team. We have had some issues lately, been a lot of talk, [of] not maximising the car we had but I think today we showed what we can do," Bottas summed-up.
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