Valtteri Bottas was pleased to score his fifth podium finish of the 2014 Formula 1 season today in Russia, feeling that Mercedes remains too far ahead to realistically be beaten under normal conditions.
The Finnish driver started from third place on the grid, but moved up into second after Nico Rosberg had to pit at the end of the first lap following a mistake at turn two.
However, Rosberg made his tires last a remarkable 52 laps to pass Bottas when the Finn took to the pit lane, and managed to stay ahead to secure a one-two finish for Mercedes behind race winner Lewis Hamilton, clinching the constructors’ championship for the German marque.
Although Bottas had once again missed out on a maiden race win, he was pleased with the result in light of Mercedes’ pace.
“I need to be happy for us as a team,” Bottas said on the podium after the race. “What we’ve been doing since last year is amazing. Again on the podium, so a good amount of points.
“We were today best of the rest. Unfortunately Mercedes is still quite a bit ahead, but we did the best we could from where we started, so we need to be happy as a team.”
With this result, Bottas has risen to fourth place in the drivers’ championship ahead of both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, who have six world championships between them.
In the sister Williams, Felipe Massa finished down in 11th place after starting 18th and pitting twice, adding to his run of bad luck in 2014.
The result does see Williams extend its lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, and the British team looks increasingly likely to finish third behind champions Mercedes and Red Bull in second place.
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto