The Williams team has a “good opportunity” to score more points at this weekend’s season finale, the Brazilian Grand Prix, at least according to Valtteri Bottas.
The Finnish rookie delivered undoubtedly his best performance of his debut season at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix. After securing his first dry-weather top-ten qualifying result, Bottas ran inside the point all race and brought his FW35 home in eighth place to break his points duck.
Much of the success can be attributed to the team’s recent decision – under the guidance of newly-appointed technology head Pat Symonds – to remove its complicated Coandă exhausts and opt for a more conventional design.
It was the team’s second points finish all year, with 2013 proving to be its least competitive season in its history as it languishes in ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
While the team has no hope of improving its overall position in the standings, another points finish would prove a major morale booster ahead of the team acquiring Mercedes engines and former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa next year.
“After a strong performance in Austin where I picked up my first points for the team, I think we will have a good opportunity to finish in the top ten once again in Brazil,” Bottas said in the team’s event preview media release.
“The weather is often quite variable at Interlagos which gives teams a chance to play with their strategy and make up places if we see rain during qualifying or the race. I drove in FP1 last year and I have done a lot of work in our simulator which correlates well to the actual track so I’m feeling well prepared.
“I’m looking forward to racing here and hopefully finishing my first season in F1 with a good result that will give us confidence going in to next year.”
Teammate Pastor Maldonado appears to have pulled his head in after a serious post-qualifying tantrum last weekend, and he too is hoping to sign off on his three-year stint at Williams at what is the closest equivalent to a ‘home’ race for the Venezuelan.
“Heavy rain is also common and if you react quickly and are on the right tyre at the right time, you can make up a lot of places,” Maldonado added.
“This will be my last Grand Prix as a Williams driver after three seasons with the team so it will be an emotional race, and hopefully I can have a good weekend and finish on a high.”