Australian F1 Grand Prix - Race

Williams’ resurgence gives Bottas a great boost

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Valtteri Bottas is revelling in Williams’ resurgence after bringing home more points than both he and the team scored in the entirety of last season at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

The Finn produced the stand-out performance of the race last Sunday with a series of brave overtakes and great passing moves. Having been slapped with a gearbox penalty, Bottas started down in 15th place and fought back up to run in P6 after 12 laps. However, contact with the wall at turn ten forced him to pit for repairs, and he dropped back down to 16th place. The Williams driver simply fought back though, re-passing the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne to finish the race in fifth place following Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification.

“If we’d had good qualifying and a clean race, I think we had a car to fight for the podium,” Bottas explained to Sky Sports. “That was the most fun race I’ve ever had. Of course, we had the mistake but it was proper racing I think.”

With 10 points for fifth place, Bottas eclipsed his own total from 2013 (4 points) and that of his team (5), with the new FW36 excelling with the regulation change for 2014. Now, the Finn is banking on another strong result in Malaysia to back up his biggest points haul yet.

“We have more points than last year and the car is so much quicker compared to others. I’m really happy with what we’ve done over the winter and in testing. Malaysia will be a very different track, it will be more like a proper race track.

“We will see there, but we do expect that we can really fight in the top six positions and I’m very, very much looking forward.”

Teammate Felipe Massa will be looking to score his first points for Williams in Malaysia after being crashed into by Kamui Kobayashi at turn one last weekend.

Sainz uninjured, but to remain in hospital overnight

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Carlos Sainz Jr. will remain in hospital overnight following a terrifying crash during practice for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday morning.

Sainz slammed into the wall at turn 13 after losing control of his car, pitching in underneath the TecPro barrier at the end of the run-off area.

Medical crews spent 20 minutes extricating Sainz from his car due to the barriers’ placement before he was taken away to hospital for a check-up.

Sainz tweeted a picture to his followers confirming that he was okay, and Toro Rosso has now released a second statement confirming that the Spaniard was fully conscious throughout the crash and is uninjured.

“After arriving at the Sochi Hospital 4, Carlos Sainz, who never lost consciousness, underwent a medical examination, including a full body scan,” the statement reads. “The scan showed that the driver has no injuries.

“However, he will be staying in the hospital overnight as a precautionary measure, which is the normal procedure in these circumstances.

“We will release further information when it is available.”

Sainz tweeted that he was hoping to convince the doctors to release him from hospital early enough so that he could take part in tomorrow’s race, but any steps taken will be with his well-being in mind.

Rosberg charges to Russian GP pole in Sochi

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Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix from pole position after topping the timesheets in Saturday’s qualifying session at the Sochi Autodrom.

Rosberg posted a fastest lap time of 1:37.113 to edge out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by three-tenths of a second to score pole position in Russia.

Following on from its dominant display in Japan two weeks ago, Mercedes showed few signs of easing up at the front of the field as it stormed to another front-row lock-out.

Having traded fastest lap times throughout the earlier stages of qualifying, Hamilton and Rosberg renewed their battle in Q3 at Sochi, but it was Rosberg who finished on top.

Rosberg drew early blood in Q3 by going three-tenths faster than his teammate on his first run, and when Hamilton locked up late on and opted to pit, pole was safely with the German driver.

Valtteri Bottas finished as the best of the rest in third place, beating the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen who finished fifth and sixth respectively as all of the drivers struggled to improve on their second runs.

Nico Hulkenberg and Force India teammate Sergio Perez will start sixth and seventh, while Romain Grosjean qualified eighth. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively.

Home favorite Daniil Kvyat was unable to delight the local fans as he would have liked to in qualifying, dropping out in Q2 by finishing 11th ahead of Felipe Nasr. Pastor Maldonado was also eliminated, finishing 14th, but it was Felipe Massa who was the biggest casualty of the second session, ending up 15th for Williams.

McLaren experienced something of a mixed qualifying session on Saturday as Fernando Alonso was knocked out at the end of Q1. Teammate Jenson Button managed to improve late on to dump the Spaniard out and leave him 16th overall, while the Briton went on to finish 13th in Q2.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson also dropped out at the first hurdle alongside the two Manor drivers, while Carlos Sainz Jr. took no part in the session following his practice crash. The Spaniard still hopes to take part in tomorrow’s race, but will remain in hospital overnight.