A problem with the seatbelt on his Williams FW36 car cost Valtteri Bottas a top five finish in yesterday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, with the Finnish driver eventually crossing the line in 10th place.
Bottas has been one of the breakout stars of the 2014 Formula 1 season, claiming five podium finishes to rank sixth in the drivers’ championship, marking a dramatic turnaround in fortunes following a troublesome campaign in 2013.
After qualifying fourth, Bottas would have been hoping to push for a podium finish at Interlagos. However, thanks to a problem with his seatbelt, the Finn had to take a prolonged pit stop whilst the problem was fixed, dropping him well down the order.
“It was a race full of different problems for me and in the end it just wasn’t my day,” Bottas said. “I had an issue with my belts at the beginning that we resolved at the first pit stop but this lost me a lot of time and I also lost time in the second stop.
“The conditions were very challenging as tire wear was high and all cars were experiencing graining. As a team we have managed to come away with some decent points and I’m happy for Felipe [Massa] as the crowd reaction after he got out of the car was very special.
“These sort of days happen in Formula 1 and we need to regroup and make sure that Abu Dhabi is a problem free race for us.”
Williams’ race day in Brazil was a reverse of the luck that we have seen for much of this season, with Massa facing a number of problems. However, he managed to secure an emotional podium finish at his home track on Sunday, and he will be hoping to carry this form into the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.
Bottas still has a chance of finishing the year in fourth place, with just three points separating Sebastian Vettel (159), Fernando Alonso (157) and the Finn (156) ahead of the double points race at Yas Marina.