SILVERSTONE (United Kingdom), July 17 — Valtteri Bottas underlined his status as a genuine contender for this year’s world championship when he finished a bold second, from ninth on the grid, in yesterday’s British Grand Prix.
The Finn, who replaced retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg as team-mate to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, is now only 23 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
Hamilton won yesterday’s race with a performance of total supremacy from pole to flag and Vettel finished seventh after a late puncture deprived him of a possible podium.
“For us as a team this was a perfect weekend, especially considering the circumstances and where we started today, in ninth place,” said Bottas.
“It’s just amazing what we’ve done today. The car was so good to drive — really quick — and the team had decided to split the strategy between Lewis and me.
“I started with the soft tyres and actually went a bit longer than planned, as we extended the first stint quite a bit, because everything was looking good.
“Towards the end, when we put the super-soft tyres on, I was on a fresher tyre, managed to get through Sebastian and caught Kimi, but realistically he would have been too far away for me to get through.
“But then I got lucky, Kimi got unlucky and lost his second place. In the end, 18 points is the perfect result for me.” — AFP