Valtteri Bottas scored just his second podium finish of the 2015 Formula 1 season after making a late charge to third place in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Starting sixth on the grid, Bottas moved up to fifth after Sebastian Vettel suffered a puncture and dropped back through the field off the line.
Williams opted to bring Bottas in for his first pit stop on lap five, putting him on a risky two-stop strategy in a bid to get the undercut on the Red Bull drivers ahead.
After surviving a run-in with compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, Bottas managed to pass Daniel Ricciardo for fourth when the Australian pitted before taking his second stop under the safety car following Sebastian Vettel’s shunt.
With fresh tires, Bottas swept past Daniil Kvyat for third on the restart before pulling away from the chasing pack to secure his second podium finish of the season, following his first top-three result in Canada.
Bottas was delighted with the result, but made no secret of his annoyance with Raikkonen over his attempted move earlier in the race.
“First of all a big thanks to the team,” Bottas said on the podium after the race. “Mega job today. We raced like a race-winning team.
“Not an easy race [after] contact with Kimi. He didn’t have to go like that. There was nowhere to go. But that’s racing.”
The result takes Bottas above Raikkonen into fourth place in the drivers’ championship, enjoying a three-point lead over his rival with two races remaining.
Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.
Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.
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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.
“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.
“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”
The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.
Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.