Bottas encouraged by showing on F1 debut

Bottas encouraged by showing on F1 debut

18 March 2013 – Valtteri Bottas says he extracted the 'maximum performance' out of the Williams FW35 in Melbourne on Sunday, with the Finn making a respectable start to his Formula 1 career at the Australian venue. Amid the outfit's struggles to find a positive direction with its new car, the former GP3 Champion avoided major drama to finish 14th.

"I had a good start from my grid position and it felt great to be back racing again," said Bottas. "A small mistake a few laps in cost me some places though.

"We got the maximum performance we could from the car today and although the pace isn’t there yet, there are still some positives to take away. The next race is only a week away, so we will work very hard to prepare as best we can and try to score our first points of the season."

For team-mate Pastor Maldonado, the weekend was more challenging. Having described the FW35 chassis as 'undriveable' on Saturday, the Venezuelan ended his first race of the season in the Turn 1 gravel trap after a driver error.

"It was a disappointing end to a difficult weekend for myself and the team," Maldonado said after the race.

"The car was not responding as we hoped in the conditions today and unfortunately I lost the back end of the car and ended up in the gravel trap. We need to work hard to solve the problems with the car to be ready for the next race in Malaysia."

In 2012, Williams suffered a double retirement at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix before recording its maiden points finish of the campaign in Malaysia.

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