Bottas stars, Maldonado stumbles for Williams in Austin (VIDEO)

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Valtteri Bottas has concluded his excellent United States Grand Prix weekend with his first career Formula One World Championship points. The Finn started ninth and finished eighth to record Williams’ best result of its challenging 2013 season. Prior to today, a 10th from teammate Pastor Maldonado in Hungary was the team’s only points-scoring finish of the season.

On paper that sounds simple, but Bottas delivered the overtaking maneuver of the race when he passed Esteban Gutierrez’ Sauber for eighth place on the outside exiting the downhill plunge through Turn 2. Twitter immediately lit up with reactions praising the move and Bottas’ commitment.

Bottas also held off a late-race charge from Nico Rosberg for the position. “Yes! Yeah! Finally!” was the radio response from Bottas to his team.

It also capped a weekend where the official “changing of the guard” occurred at the Williams Renault squad. While Bottas starred, Maldonado struggled mightily.

The Venezuelan contacted Adrian Sutil on the first lap, which sent the luckless German’s Force India into the inside guardrail on the backstraight. Maldonado’s left front wing endplate was damaged and he was issued a black and orange flag, an order to pit immediately to repair the wounded chassis.

From there Maldonado emerged at the back of the field behind even Max Chilton’s Marussia – it took several laps to get past. He ended the race 16th, after falling victim to a gutsy pass by Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, and far outside the points on a weekend where he suggested the team had intentionally sabotaged his car.

With Bottas’ star on the rise, not even Maldonado’s millions from the Venezuelan government might be enough to keep his place on the grid in 2014.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”