Deputy team principal Claire Williams says she never doubted that Valtteri Bottas would shine in F1 following his and the Williams team's substantial step forward in 2014.

The Finn was brought under the wing of Williams in 2010 and proceeded to spend three years with the team in the role of development and test driver, during which he picked up the GP3 Series title en route to a full-time drive in F1 for 2013.

Coming into the team as it proceeded to suffer one of the worst seasons in its illustrious 37 year history, Bottas was given a second chance to shine in 2014 as Williams returned to form in comprehensive style.

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Proceeding to notch up six podiums on the way to fourth in the standings - a massive improvement on the mere eighth place finish he managed in 2013 -, Bottas' emergence may have been one of the stories of last year, but for Williams it wasn't a personal surprise.

"Having brought Valtteri into the team in 2010 and seeing his progress through the junior formula, we knew he had something special in him, so it wasn't a big surprise what he did last year," she maintains.

"I think the greatest thing he managed last year was that he never repeated mistakes. If he made a mistake, he learned from them and for a young racing driver that is a real talent. He is just a great person to have in the team, he is a great all-rounder."

Even so, Williams does admit she was surprised by the turnaround of her team's fortunes so swiftly, saying she was targeting P6, only to go P3 in the constructors' standings.

"A little bit [surprised with P3]," she continued. "I don't think we were necessarily expecting that level of transformation. We knew that the work we had put in was going to effect change but I don't think any of us anticipated making the jump from P9 to P3... P6 was where we were anticipating.

"It was great result, but it wasn't a fluke, it was the result of hard work by everybody in the team and we deserved it."