Valtteri Bottas admitted that he had more than finishing fourth in mind during Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix, but took the positives from his best race of the 2016 Formula 1 season so far.
Bottas started second in Sochi thanks to Sebastian Vettel’s grid penalty, and managed to hold off Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen through the opening stint of the race before making his first pit stop.
However, Hamilton was able to pass Bottas within two laps of emerging from the pits, while Raikkonen made a longer first stint work well to get ahead of the Williams driver.
Bottas was unable to keep up with Raikkonen for the rest of the race, eventually finishing 18 seconds behind his compatriot in fourth place.
“The beginning of the race was pretty good and we managed to defend against some of the quicker cars behind,” Bottas said.
“I think being aggressive with the early pitstop was good but unfortunately the cars with more pace managed to get through, and at the end of the race there wasn’t much happening for me.
“All-in-all the team has done a good job this weekend. It’s positive to get a lot of points for Williams. There’s definitely progress, this is a good track for us so that helped, but we just need to keep improving.
“I definitely had more in mind today than fourth so we need to keep pushing.”
Williams continued its run of getting both cars into the points at every race so far this season as Felipe Massa finished fifth, also enduring a rather lonely race.
“I think it was a very positive weekend for us and a very positive race,” Massa said. “I would have loved to finish fourth and not fifth, but that’s just part of the game so I’m happy with the result.
“We managed to score a lot more points than Red Bull, and that’s the target for us right now. They have a very good team and a very good car, but we need to keep believing. This weekend was a very good weekend so we need to keep fighting like that.
“I think for the team the best position was fourth and fifth. Valtteri was able to manage the tires better here, whilst I was able to manage them better in China. That’s the way it goes, but today’s result is very good for Williams.”