Bottas pleased with his performances so far in 2013

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Valtteri Bottas may be yet to score his first points in Formula One, but the young Finn is pleased with how he has fared during the first ten races of his F1 career after debuting at the beginning of the season.

Bottas, who won GP3 back in 2011, spent last season testing for Williams before making the jump to a full-time race seat this year alongside Pastor Maldonado. The team has scored just one point so far this season due to car problems, but Bottas is pleased with his work.

“I think without looking at the car performance, if I analyze myself, I think I can be reasonably happy with the first half because it’s still my first season,” Bottas told Richland F1. “I’ve been matching Pastor more or less. We’ve been very close the whole season so I think it’s been good. He’s a good reference for me as a teammate because everyone knows he’s quick and he’s won a race. But you know, there’s always things I’m learning all the time and when I look back, there’s things you could have done better but that’s part of learning and it’s been okay.”

The Finnish driver also believes that a lack of progress by Williams during the off-season has proved costly.

“I think our car is sometimes quite difficult to drive, a bit unpredictable sometimes. But I think compared to last year we are more or less now on the same level, even could be a bit better. It’s just a fact that everyone else has improved so much in the last year and we kind of didn’t. The base, the start level for this year wasn’t good enough so that’s the problem.”

However, Bottas believes that this form will not carry over into 2014 when a raft of new regulations come into force.

“But you know next year there are going to be big rule changes and hopefully then we have time to catch up with the others.”

Bottas’ junior career led many to believe he would immediately attain success in Formula One, but with the Williams FW35 masking his potential, the Finn is not to be written off yet.

Simon Pagenaud has words with Gabby Chaves after Honda Indy GP of Alabama

Photos: IndyCar
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The rain didn’t stop following the conclusion of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, and neither did the jousting between drivers.

An angry Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud confronted Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves after the race, complaining that Chaves would not let Pagenaud get past him in the closing laps.

Instead of ending up with a hoped-for Top 5, Pagenaud wound up with a ninth-place finish. Chaves, meanwhile, finished 17th, two laps down.

The confrontation turned into a battle of words and profanity between the two drivers, as captured on Twitter by AutoWeek’s Matt Weaver.

Afterward – and after their tempers cooled down somewhat – both Pagenaud and Chaves gave their sides of the confrontation to NBCSN.

Gabby Chaves

First, here’s Pagenaud’s take on things:

“We had a really good race going,” Pagenaud said. “I think we potentially could have been top 5. I was really frustrated with Gabby. He was two laps down and I was stuck behind him, which gave an opportunity to (Scott) Dixon as I was trying to do everything I could to make it happen.

“It’s a real shame because when it’s not your day, it’s not your day. You’ll have better days later, but you want to have everybody on your side when you have a good day. At the moment, he doesn’t have me on his side, let me tell you. It’s a real shame.”

When asked what exactly he said to Chaves, Pagenaud demurred.

“Driver’s stuff,” he said with a slight smile. “We’ve all been there. I’ve been in his position. My side, I played it smart. It is what it is.

“I can’t comment for him. You can ask him the question. I’m not going to make a deal about it, it’s just a shame it ruined my race. We’ll come back stronger. It’s Indy soon, so that’ll put a smile on my face.”

NBCSN then caught up with Chaves for his side of the story.

 

“It’s a tough situation, we had to restart (the rain-delayed race) a lap down,” Chaves said. “Our whole strategy depends on trying to get a yellow and holding our position. Some guys think that the track belongs only to them, they’re the only guys on-track.

“Everyone else who was faster at that point – we were only one lap down to the leader, so we’re still on our strategy and don’t know what’s going to happen – as soon as they got right up next to me on the lead lap, I let them go.

“Simon was the only one who couldn’t drive up to me. I understand his frustration, but he’s the one who has to save fuel to make his strategy work, that’s not our fault, right?”

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