Valtteri Bottas felt his “fun” recovery drive through the field at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was one of the best performances of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Having been hit with a back-of-the-grid start for making power unit changes to his Mercedes following a failure last time out in Brazil, Bottas charged to a fourth-place finish in the season finale at Yas Marina.

The Finn was pipped to the final spot of the podium by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by less than a second but was nonetheless satisfied with his efforts.

“It was a really tough race, I was giving it everything I could, but I have to say it was pretty good fun, coming from the back,” Bottas explained.

“We had a really strong car today but it wasn’t the easiest of races. In the beginning we did nearly the first 20 laps without DRS and that made it more difficult to make progress through the field.

“I tried and I feel I couldn’t have done anything more, so I feel pretty satisfied about today.

“Obviously, it would have been nice to be on the podium, but it doesn’t matter, I feel I have it all and that’s what matters.”  

Despite ending the season 87 points behind Mercedes teammate and world champion Lewis Hamilton in the final championship classification, Bottas has turned in his strongest season to date in F1 by finishing in runner-up spot.

Bottas has claimed five pole positions and four victories - compared to Hamilton’s five poles and 11 wins - and says he will take the confidence he has gained from this year into a renewed title challenge bid in 2020.

“I have good confidence from this season,” he added.

“Even today, even though I finished 4th, which is not a great result when you are at Mercedes, with this car, I’m really, really happy about that because it was one of the best races of my season.”

 

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