Valtteri Bottas says it was a case of damage limitation at the Styrian Grand Prix after his poor qualifying, and he’s happy with the result.
Starting the race in P4, the Finn prevailed in a battle with Max Verstappen to end the race in P2 and hold on to his championship lead.
“Obviously Lewis started from the pole and had a good start, he could really control the race and there was not as much happening as last weekend,” Bottas said after the race.
“But from my side, starting fourth, I think today was damage limitation. Still got good points, still leading, so it’s not too bad.
“Yesterday wasn’t ideal, so that’s why I couldn’t get 25 points today.”
For a while, it looked like even P2 would be a stretch too far from Bottas as Verstappen showed solid pace ahead of him.
However, fresher tyres for the Finn and front-wing damage for the Dutchman brought them side by side late on.
Bottas initially passed Verstappen at Turn 4 before the Red Bull took the place back. However, he completed the move one lap later to secure a Mercedes 1-2.
LAP 67 & 68/71
Brilliant stuff from Verstappen and Bottas
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 12, 2020
“It was a good battle with him,” he added.
“I think I had quite a bit more pace at the end than him as we extended the first stint. Racing closely is always good fun.
“I could have been more satisfied [with the race], but it’s been a not bad first couple of races, so I’m looking forward to next week.”
Bottas currently leads Hamilton by six points heading to the third race of the season in Hungary. The Brit will be heavy favourite there, having won there seven times while Bottas has only one podium to his name at the track.