Bottas: ‘Best second place I’ve had’

2017 British Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas has described his drive from ninth place on the grid to the podium at the British Grand Prix as the ‘best second place’ he has had.

The Mercedes driver was hit with a five place grid penalty before qualifying after the team were forced to change his gearbox, leaving him ninth on the grid after qualifying fourth.

Bottas made his way steadily through the field to third, inheriting second place after Kimi Raikkonen’s unscheduled late pitstop to make it a Mercedes one-two.

“It’s the best second place that I’ve had as a feeling,” says Bottas. “For us as a team, it was a perfect day.

“Me starting ninth, it was never going to be easy. So ending up one-two as a team is amazing. We were also lucky with what happened with Ferrari so it was definitely good for us to gain some points like that. So for us as a team we can be pleased for today until we start work tomorrow for the next race.”

Bottas started on the Soft compound tyres before switching to the Super Softs during his solitary pitstop. The Finn took advantage of the Soft rubber, catching and passing Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari after some close quarters combat that saw Bottas pushed out onto the run-off at Stowe.

Asked if he felt that Vettel had not made it simple for him to pass, Bottas had no complaints with the championship leader’s firm defending.

“No one should do,” says Bottas. “This is racing and if I was in his position I would also defend hard. That’s how it is. No drama from my side.

“Obviously he didn’t leave me any other place than to go off the track, so that didn’t quite allow me to make the overtake off track. But that’s life and I would’ve done the same.”

The result moves Bottas to 23 points from Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship. The Mercedes driver says he is looking forward to the second half of the season.

“After today I am catching the lead of the championship, so that’s good. Still so many races to go and so many points available, so I feel I will be in the fight. Today was a good race from my side, I feel. Felt good in the car, so I’m looking forward to the next ones.”

2017 British Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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7 comments on “Bottas: ‘Best second place I’ve had’”

  1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    16th July 2017, 19:46

    Even better from 2014 Silverstone GP 2nd place from 14th Valtteri????Great drive today,Valtteri will definetely be a title contenter, as he has been really stable throughout the whole season, even in circuits where he is not good(Monaco for instance). He has taken full advantange of the chance that came up with Rosberg’s retirement & he has high possibilitties of staying in the Mercedes & for 2018.

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    16th July 2017, 23:58

    He’s making a very solid case for Mercedes to re-sign him.

    1. Absolutely. I would love to see Hamilton vs Alonso : part II, but Bottas is proving there is not need for such fireworks.

  3. Mark in Florida
    17th July 2017, 17:59

    I really like Vallteri he is unflappable, he just gets in with it. Some drivers grate on my nerves with their constant need for attention and shameless self promotion. Bottas is calm cool and collected and proves his worth in the track. I believe that he will cause problems for Vettle and maybe even Hamilton if he continues to up his game every week.

  4. Game changer. You could argue Bottas is the reason why both Ferraris suffered tire failures. His pressure on Vettel and then on Kimi would have made all the difference as they were forced into the defensive in the closing stages of the race.

    Not only did he secure invaluable points for the team, he also helped his buddy Hamilton in the championship.

    I’m sure behind the scenes Hamilton has helped him become a better driver.

    1. False.
      Definitely false.

  5. Good drive by bot

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