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Bottas felt ‘on it’ in Canada as Williams’ podium drought ends

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Valterri Bottas picked up Williams’ first podium finish of the 2016 Formula 1 season on Sunday after perfecting a one-stop strategy en route to third place in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Bottas started seventh in Montreal, but a good start and an impressive pace on the soft compound tire allowed him to get into the fight for the final podium spot.

Red Bull’s decision to bring both of its drivers in for a second stop allowed Bottas to move up into third place, and when the late-charging Nico Rosberg spun while trying to pass Max Verstappen, the result was safe for the Finn.

Third place marks Williams’ first podium of the season and ends an eight-race run without a top-three finish, the last coming in Mexico last year courtesy of Bottas.

“I’m really pleased with today,” Bottas said.

“As a team it was a really strong run for us, really good strategy, really good pit stop. All the timing was perfect.

“The car felt really good today. I felt I was pretty on it today. It’s great to be here.

“Really want to thank Williams, thank you guys, everyone did a really amazing job.”

The result also continued Bottas’ impressive record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, having also finished third last year and qualified inside the top three in his rookie season.

Bottas’ teammate Felipe Massa was forced to retire early on in Canada, ending his record of scoring every points so far this season.

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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