After claiming the last podium spot of the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix, Bottas admitted his car felt extremely nervous in the last laps and gave him a hard time containing Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
Bottas took off strong this weekend. The Finn had a very satisfying qualifying session in which he managed to put his name on the second spot of the rankings, ahead of teammate Hamilton.
The 31-year-old then started Sunday’s race in fifth position after being handed a three-place drop for his FP2 pitlane spin. The ambitions were clear: come back to the level of Verstappen and Hamilton in as few laps as possible.
Taking a retrospective look at his race, Bottas admitted that Red Bull seemed too far ahead today but that P2 could have been reachable. Nonetheless, the Mercedes driver remains satisfied with his performance, thinking he took advantage of all the opportunities today, especially considering the degradation of his tires towards the end of the event.
“Without the penalty, I think maybe the maximum we could have hoped for is P2, but I think first place, Max [Verstappen] and Red Bull, they were a bit out of reach today,” Bottas said.
“I think it feels like [they are] two, three-tenths a lap quicker, so it’s actually quite a lot. They have a strong power unit, they have a strong car, and it feels like they are a bit better with the tires.”
“I think from where we started, we maximized today. And at least nice to get ahead of Perez, which is obviously a big target for us, trying to get points against Red Bull. So that’s good.”
“There was not much left in my tires at the end today was more like rallying in Finnish Lapland than F1 in Austria.”