F1: Bottas claims his third career victory at the Yas Marina Circuit
Valtteri Bottas won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in style to pull clear at the end away from team mate Lewis Hamilton coming home in second and Sebastian Vettel in a distant third for Ferrari, 15 seconds down the later.
There was a lot of pressure from Lewis from behind throughout the entire race. I knew that one proper mistake could have ruined it. I had to keep my head down and go lap by lap. I couldn’t be happier to end the season like this. Of course, it would have been nice to get the second place in the championship, but Sebastian had a good weekend as well. Looking at the overall season, I need to perform better; but I’m very pleased with how the end of the season has been going for me. I’m really happy to be part of the team that won the constructors’ championship. Mercedes has given me the opportunity to win a few races and claim a few pole positions, so I’m a really proud team member. However, I was hoping for an overall better result in the drivers’ point. I’ve learned a lot this season, so now I’m really looking forward to next year. This weekend shows that I can perform, I can be on pole and win races. So now I need to try and do it more often next year.
A great race, a great battle at the end of the season. I did the best I could, but Valtteri did a great job – very clean and no mistakes. This is one of the harder tracks to overtake; you need to be 1.4 seconds faster than the car in front to overtake. I had a lot of pace in the second stint, but as soon as I got into that window of about 1.2 seconds, I was done. But it was neat that you could push all the way on the tyre, it didn’t seem to drop off that much. It’s really great for Valtteri to have this win, this is a real boost for him to go into the winter with. Now I’m looking forward to some time to sit down with my family and just reminisce about the whole year. It’s been such a strong year, the team have been phenomenal all year long. I’m so grateful for everyone’s hard work back at the factory and for all the support from Mercedes.
This was a special way to end a special season: a dominant 1-2 finish in the final race of the season gives us good momentum into the winter. The car was magnificent today – quickest in qualifying and also in race conditions, on both types of tyre. I am really pleased to see the way that Valtteri has worked out of the difficult races after the summer to finish the season like this, two pole positions and the final win of the year. It was simply his race today. As for Lewis, this has been the best performance I have seen in all five years working together – he has become more rounded as a character and just as impressive as a racer. But although we had a strong result today, it’s not the time to pat ourselves on the back. 2018 begins on Tuesday with tyre testing so we must be sure to do our homework well this week and to keep pushing in the factories. We will enjoy this evening – but then get our heads down, push even harder and start preparing for the next challenge.