22 December 2014
F1 Driver of the Year 2014: 3rd - Valtteri Bottas
You voted Williams' Valtteri Bottas 3rd in Crash.net's 2014 F1 Driver of the Year poll
3rd – Valtteri Bottas
Average poll score out of ten: 7.7
Team: Williams Martini Racing
Car: Williams Mercedes FW36
Fastest Laps: 1
Best Finish 2nd
Championship points: 186
Championship position: 4th out of 23
Valtteri Bottas' breakthrough season will have been helped by having such a competitive car, but the young Finn showed he was fully prepared to make the best use of it this year.
9th in last year's poll, Bottas had already signalled his potential to the F1 world in his debut season. However, the immediate signs were that he was still inconsistent as an almost certain maiden podium escaped him when he hit the wall in Australia, with Bottas still able to finish fifth despite the subsequent puncture.
Three times in the opening seven races Bottas managed to qualify on the second row, but Williams was struggling to get the most out of the FW36 and the highest finish remained P5. Then came Austria, where Bottas was disappointed to miss out on pole to team-mate Felipe Massa, but converted second on the grid in to his first podium.
It marked the start of an impressive run of form, with Bottas turning 16th on the grid at Silverstone in to second place, and then following that performance with another P2 in Germany as he withstood late pressure from Lewis Hamilton. More podiums were to follow in Belgium, Russia and Abu Dhabi, while his qualifying performances – Bottas started from the front two rows in 10 of the final 13 races – marked him out as both scintillating over one lap and consistent in the race.
Given the right car, wins beckon in 2015.
Valtteri Bottas in the Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2013: 9th
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2012: N/A
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2011: N/A
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2010: N/A
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2009: N/A
Do you agree with the poll results? Have your say in the comments section below...
About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Drivers' World Championship standings, the F1 Driver of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, driving style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results.
Over 100,000 votes were cast for the 2014 Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of this year's full-time participants.
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