Valtteri Bottas made the most of Sebastian Vettel's front-wing change to snatch an unexpected fourth place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix thanks to some dogged defence in the closing stages.

Having predicted an inter-team tussle with Williams team-mate Felipe Massa prior to the race, Bottas looked set for an even lonelier evening than expected when his counterpart was forced to start from the pit-lane with electrical problems.

On course for fifth place after the first two stops, Bottas' race came alive in the closing stages when Vettel's unscheduled wing change brought him back out on track behind the Finn, igniting a tight tussle to the chequered flag.

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Indeed, despite Vettel's efforts, Bottas would hold firm to pick up a rewarding fourth place finish, a result he considered the best he could have hoped for.

"I think pretty maximum result so from my side of the garage we can be happy with what we achieved today. We were closer to Ferrari and Mercedes in race pace compared to China, which is good. Obviously there's plenty of work to do but we're on the right way.

"It was not easy because Sebastian was approaching really quickly. I knew it was going to be really tricky, they had a lot of pace. I just tried to do all the things possible to keep him behind - getting good exits, making sure at all the corners the lines are completely correct to try and disturb him, try and get better exits than him, and any boost we had available from the engine it was important to use at the right places.

His best finish of the season, Bottas says he can take positives from Williams' performance in the race, particularly during the early stages as he clung on to the top four initially.

"We could run the two options but we are still degrading, especially the option tyre, much quicker than Mercedes and Ferrari. With the prime it was maybe slightly better but we are overall slower, so anything we try is always difficult. But we are looking into it and we need to try and create more downforce in the car."