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Valtteri Bottas says his race start tactics were within the rules despite 'gambling between reactions and guessing' as it powered him to a second career Formula 1 victory.

The pole-sitter produced a lightning start to the Austrian Grand Prix from the lights out which prompted both Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo to accuse the Mercedes driver of jump starting over the team radio.

After the FIA race stewards investigated his start using video replays and car data it was declared Bottas produced a 0.201s reaction time from the start lights going out which was over the legal reaction time limit set by the FIA and duly cleared Bottas of jump starting.

Despite this Vettel was still convinced Bottas had produced an illegal race start, while the Finn admitted he took a risk by anticipating the time between the full start lights going on and going out to start the race.

"When the car was moving the lights were off, so that was the main thing," Bottas said. "It was one of my best starts, quite risky, but there's a lot to gain at the start and I had a good one.

"There's always a variation of time for when the lights go off, but for quite a long time that variation hadn't been massive. You know more or less the zone when it is going to be off, so you are alert at that point, your gambling between your reaction and guessing."

Bottas says he risked a poor start, or potentially an illegal start, but knew as long as his reaction time wasn't below the minimum reaction time set by the FIA he wouldn't be penalised.

"Sometimes you get a mega start, sometimes you react a bit late," he said. "Today it was one of my best reactions to the light. As long as the reaction time is positive, you're fine."

Bottas held off a late charge by Vettel to win at the Red Bull Ring and close the F1 world championship deficit to 35 points while he is just 15 points behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

 

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