Mar 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
Valtteri Bottas is revelling in Williams’ resurgence after bringing home more points than both he and the team scored in the entirety of last season at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
The Finn produced the stand-out performance of the race last Sunday with a series of brave overtakes and great passing moves. Having been slapped with a gearbox penalty, Bottas started down in 15th place and fought back up to run in P6 after 12 laps. However, contact with the wall at turn ten forced him to pit for repairs, and he dropped back down to 16th place. The Williams driver simply fought back though, re-passing the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne to finish the race in fifth place following Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification.
“If we’d had good qualifying and a clean race, I think we had a car to fight for the podium,” Bottas explained to Sky Sports. “That was the most fun race I’ve ever had. Of course, we had the mistake but it was proper racing I think.”
With 10 points for fifth place, Bottas eclipsed his own total from 2013 (4 points) and that of his team (5), with the new FW36 excelling with the regulation change for 2014. Now, the Finn is banking on another strong result in Malaysia to back up his biggest points haul yet.
“We have more points than last year and the car is so much quicker compared to others. I’m really happy with what we’ve done over the winter and in testing. Malaysia will be a very different track, it will be more like a proper race track.
“We will see there, but we do expect that we can really fight in the top six positions and I’m very, very much looking forward.”
Teammate Felipe Massa will be looking to score his first points for Williams in Malaysia after being crashed into by Kamui Kobayashi at turn one last weekend.