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“I told the team that I was going to be on the podium” – Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas completed an excellent weekend at the Italian Grand Prix, with a well deserved third place finish on Sunday, after starting from the back of the grid.

Bottas enjoyed one of his best weekends yet for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, having taken pole position on Friday and then winning the second trial of sprint qualifying on Saturday. With the team opting to take an engine penalty for Sunday’s race, demoting Bottas to the back of the grid, a podium looked a difficult task.

The Finnish driver put in a strong performance though, quickly calving his way through the field and being towards the front come the opening pit-stops. Of course Bottas did have the advantage of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen taking each other out, but nevertheless the driver who is leaving Mercedes at the end of the season, made sure he was in the right position to capitalise.

At one point winning the grand prix looked very possible, Bottas was lapping over a second faster than race winner Daniel Ricciardo during the middle of the race but unfortunately got stuck behind Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez who was occupying third place. This brought an end to Bottas’s charge, as he finished the race behind Pérez who was awarded a five-second penalty for gaining an unfair advantage when overtaking Charles Leclerc.

So it was third place for Bottas, who added crucial points to Mercedes constructor tally, the Finnish driver is very pleased with the weekend and is looking forward to the Russian Grand Prix, one where he has experienced recent success.

“I told the Team that I was going to be on the Podium today so I am glad we did. A great recovery from me, I don’t think I’ve made up that many places in a race in my career. Starting from the back is never easy, and in the end, I am glad we got more points than Red Bull today, especially considering where we were before the race. It was enjoyable out there, some good overtakes and some good racing.

“The battle with Perez was a good one and I am very happy with my result. Probably one of my better weekends with Mercedes, I think I was strong all weekend so that is very satisfying. Obviously, it is a shame about the crash with Lewis and Max – we lost some important points there. I haven’t really seen the incident properly yet but I am glad to hear he is ok. Now we need to look ahead and I hope to carry this momentum into Russia, a track where I’ve done well in the past.”

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