Valtteri Bottas scored his first points in Formula 1 after finishing eighth in the United States Grand Prix.
The Williams driver enjoyed a successful weekend in Austin, making it into Q3 for only the second time this season. Then from ninth on the grid, Bottas made an impressive start and managed his tires to score four World Championship points, moving him ahead of teammate Pastor Maldonado – who only has one point to his name as a result of a 10th-place finish in Hungary.
“I’m very happy to get my first points in Formula 1 today,” said Bottas. “The whole weekend has been good from setting up the car in practice through to the strategy and pitstops in the race. We managed the tires well today and I had good feedback from my engineers on them throughout.
The 24-year-old rookie made an impressive pass on Esteban Gutierrez on the downhill run through Turn 2 to grab eighth spot and then held off a late-race charge from Nico Rosberg to secure the position.
“We did have a bit of pressure from Rosberg at the end but I was able to keep pushing and hold the position. I want to say a big thanks to everyone in the team and at the factory as they have all been working so hard and really deserve this result.”
Bottas credited part of his success to the new exhaust system Williams has ran in Abu Dhabi and now Austin. The Grove, UK-based squad elected to ditch its Coanda exhaust to trial a non exhaust-blowing setup, which they will likely use in 2014.
“I think that made quite a big difference, especially on this track; as well as the directions we took the whole weekend with the car setup,” he told Sky Sports.
“We really did everything right, especially with the tires – I think we handled those well, both in qualifying and also in the race. All race I got very good information from the pit wall on how to manage the tires and if I could push more or not, so it was nice to have good support from the team there.”
Bottas becomes the seventh Finnish driver to score points in Formula 1, joining the likes of Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen.Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1, Pastor Maldonado, USGP, Valtteri Bottas