--
 
Top new models for SA

From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Bottas celebrates first F1 podium finish

2014-06-22 19:23

GREAT DAY FOR WILLIAMS: Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas (right) and Felipe Massa achieved third and fourth at the 2014 Austrian GP. Image: AP/Darko Vojinovic

SPIELBERG, Austria - Valtteri Bottas gave Finland another presence on the Formula 1 podium on Sunday (June 22 2014) when the Williams driver celebrated his first top three finish at the 2014 Austrian GP.

Bottas said: "Really, really happy. Difficult to put into words really. Just really thankful to the team for giving me this car.

"It's been a long way for us since last year and many, many years at Williams and now it's so much better. The race was exactly what we needed at this point - clean, nice, everything went like planned really."

BEST RESULT FOR WILLIAMS

Bottas, the latest in a line of top Finnish drivers that includes former world champions Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen, made his debut with Williams in 2013 after a stint as reserve.

It turned out to be a miserable season for the former champions, who scored just five points in total and finished ninth overall - a long way from the 1980s and 1990s when they won nine Constructors' titles and seven Drivers' championships.

In 2014, with a switch from Renault to Mercedes power and technical head Pat Symonds coming on board, Williams have been a team transformed and are now fifth with 85 points and within reach of Force India and Ferrari.

Williams are still off the pace of dominant Mercedes but started the 2014 Austrian GP with Felipe Massa on pole and Bottas alongside.

‘GOOD TRACK FOR US’

Bottas followed up his best-ever qualifying with a best-ever result while Massa dropped to fourth: "I think overall the best-ever weekend. We were really strong the whole weekend and that's down to all the hard work. Of course it was a good track for us.

"You never know what's going to happen in the next race but overall we are making progress. Step-by-step we are getting there, getting closer to the positions where we belong. I'm really happy."

Williams had chances earlier in the season but failed to capitalise on them through errors and misfortune but Bottas, who had the fastest pitstop of the race, said they had finally shown what they could do.

Bottas said: "From all the data that we had from practice we knew that in the race it's going to be difficult and overall Mercedes have still got the quickest car.

"We really nailed it yesterday so we knew that maybe Sunday could be difficult but actually it was a bit better than I expected. We were really close to them on pace."

NEXT ON WHEELS24X

Inside Wheels24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.