MELBOURNE, March 17th, 2014 (F1Plus / Jacob Polychronis) Valtteri Bottas has claimed more points than Williams’ entire 2013 season by recovering from a wall-collision to finish in sixth position in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Bottas drove impressively for the majority of the race, performing many over-taking manoeuvres during two separate charges through the field. The Williams driver’s combative driving was one of the highlights of the race.
“That was the most fun race I have ever had – that was proper racing I think.”
“For me there was no fuel saving at all. I mean the safety car always helps because you can save some fuel and then push.”
Bottas “knew the mission”
Bottas was on charge for a potential podium position until he was forced to make an unscheduled pit-stop to replace a punctured tyre.
“I was quite close to Alonso and just went slightly wide at the exit of turn 10 and I just touched wall. – I was quite angry with myself but luckily we could continue.”
“The pace seemed to be good so I was just picking up car by car. I was pushing really hard because I could see this race could be very good. [It] Turned out I was pushing a bit too much.”
Despite the incident, Bottas re-composed himself to recover in spectacular fashion after falling well outside the top ten at one point.
“I knew the mission, I wanted to make up my mistake and come back as high as possible.”
“For sure the safety car helped because the pack was together. So I could start over by taking cars one by one.”
The pace shown by Williams in dry racing conditions throughout the weekend has Bottas feeling confident heading into the remainder of the season.
“Definitely Mercedes are looking too quick but I would think we can fight with all the others, there’s no reason [why we can’t].”
“We do expect that we can really fight in the top six positions [in Malaysia].”
After Bottas’ display of pace in Melbourne, fighting for the top six positions may prove to be modest, as many feel they can be podium contenders.