bottas: riding the williams revival
the strategy. I made some mistakes
myself in the beginning of the season.
Even the pit stops, I think we improved a
lot from the beginning of the season.”
But with a pragmatism that seems
part of the Williams Racing DNA, Bottas
accepts that the rebirth of the team as
a competitive entity in 2014 wasn’t
entirely down to internal factors.
“We know that if we didn’t have
Mercedes this year, it would have been a
much more difficult season,” he says.
“Hopefully we can also keep that edge
next year, which will be nice because it
definitely helps us in races and at some
tracks in particular. I think it’s normal that
after a major change in regulations, it will
start to get closer and closer, so that’s
why we need to keep improving as a
team. We can’t always rely on Mercedes
to give us an edge. We can’t rest, we can’t
stop developing things, otherwise there’s
always someone who will be faster than
us. We have to keep learning and making
The Finn really hit his stride in Austria,
where he took third place and his first F1
podium. He was second in the next two
races, Britain and Germany, and third
again in Belgium, Russia and Abu Dhabi,
delivering six of Williams’ nine podiums.
“The first podium in Austria was really
special of course,” he says, “and Germany
was really nice when I managed to keep
Lewis Hamilton behind to the end,
defending against him.
“In Austria, if we’d been a bit more
THREE FROM EIGHT
aggressive we could possibly have made
it a bit more difficult for Mercedes, for
sure. But we’ve gained a lot of confidence
since then, and if we have the pace like
that in the future we’re a much stronger
team now, so I think we can do better.
Personally I feel that, except for
Melbourne, in most races I got the most
out of the car, so that’s good.”
Singapore – where Bottas encountered
a strange steering problem that ruined
his front tires, and meant he got freight
trained by the chasing pack on the last
There have been only eight Finnish F1 drivers
and yet three of them have won the World
Championship – Rosberg (K.) for Williams,
Mika Hakkinen in 1998 and ’ 99 for McLaren,
and Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 for Ferrari.
He never had the
best car, but Keke
he could from
whatever he was
given to drive.
Result? The 1982
Formula 1 World
Rallying is the usual outlet for crazy-talented
gearheads from Finland, but boy, the ones who
do make it to F1 have an extraordinary hit rate…
With four world titles, Finland matches France
(or rather, Alain Prost!) and has one more than
Italy (Alberto Ascari x 2 and Giuseppe Farina).
ITALY 3 ( 4.69%)
FRANCE 4 ( 6.25%)
FINLAND 4 ( 6.25%)
MORE THAN ITALY...
UNITED KINGDOM ( 21.87%)
Looking purely at race wins, Mika and Kimi have
20 each, Keke won 5 and Heikki Kovalainen, 1.
USA’s figure is boosted by the Indy 500 counting
toward the World Championship, 1950-’ 60.
“the German Grand Prix
was really nice when i
managed to keep lewis
Hamilton behind to the end”
Splitting the Mercedes duo was a rare feat
for anyone this year, so when he held off
Hamilton to finish runner-up in Germany
(LEFT), Bottas was justifiably proud.
(BELOW) By Austin, the Williams duo
were regular Row 2 starters, although
both got jumped by Ricciardo in the race.
TAKING THE FIGHT TO MERCEDES