18 September 2014
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Bottas targets third place in points
Daniel Ricciardo has been put on notice by Williams F1 rival Valtteri Bottas, as the Finn aims for a first win to help snatch third in the championship from the new Red Bull favourite.
Valtteri Bottas admits that he has not given up hope of snatching third place in the F1 drivers' championship – and hopes a win in the final six races of 2014 can help propel him to his goal.
The Finn has enjoyed a remarkable second season with Williams, with a tough debut year being followed by the team's best car for some time. Overshadowing veteran team-mate Felipe Massa, he has already taken four podium finishes and, despite the common belief that the remaining circuits may not suit the FW36, remains optimistic that he can achieve his remaining targets for the season.
“I think we still have the chance for some good results,” he claimed on the eve of practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, “It's not going to be as good for us here, in theory, as the last few races but, in Budapest, we managed to qualifying well, even if, in the race, it was not easy with some things not happening in our favour.
“I think we still have the chance for some good points and, if we have a target, it's definitely to be in the top five. If there's the possibility to fight for the podium, we'll try to do that….”
Bottas' results with the FW36 have vaulted him into fourth spot overall with two-thirds of the season complete but, despite the top three appearing to be out of reach, the Finn has not stopped setting goals for himself.
“Daniel [Ricciardo] is a little too far away, but there's still many races to go and I'd still like to have a shot at third place,” he insisted, “The last race is double points, so there's still a lot of points to take.
“It would be nice, but I think the priority for us is securing third place in the teams' points and, for me, a minimum of fourth - I definitely want to keep ahead of Fernando [Alonso]!”
The run of four podiums in five races yielded two runners-up spots for Bottas – back-to-back in Britain and Germany – and it's clear that the former GP3 Series champion is just itching for a chance to go one better.
“There are six races, so I see it as six opportunities [to stand on top step],” he claimed, “You never know what's going to happen in a grand prix, and we still have some updates to bring to the car, maybe at the next race. If we can get a bit more pace and a bit more lucky, I really think it's possible.”
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