Valtteri Bottas says securing eighth place in the Australian Grand Prix was “not satisfiying’ despite the Williams driver lining up only 16th on the Melbourne grid.
Having qualified 11th, the Finn was hit with a five-place grid penalty following a gearbox change ahead of the race. Bottas managed to keep his nose clean in a wild contest, picking up his way through the field to ensure a double points for Williams as team-mate Felipe Massa claimed fifth.
“I think we made the most out of it,” Bottas said. “Of course it’s very difficult from that starting point, but moving up from 16th on the grid to P8 is something positive, something good.
“We got points with both cars and that’s good but obviously eighth place is not satisfying. But points are points and they can be very important at the end of the season.”
Williams had entered the season-opening weekend on the back of promising performances in pre-season testing but ultimately ended up well behind the Mercedes and Ferrari, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also more than 30 seconds clear of Massa in fourth.
Asked about the Grove-based outfit’s lack of speed Down Under, Bottas said he could not really stretch the legs of his FW38 as he spent most of the second half of the race stuck behind Romain Grosjean’s Haas and Nico Hulkenger’s Force India.
“For me it’s difficult to say because I could never race in clean air because of the issues in qualifying and then the penalty I took. That’s why I couldn’t compare my speed with the one from the quicker cars but it’s clear we need to do better than we did today.
“We are not pleased with where we ended up here in Australia, but let’s wait and see in Bahrain, as we’ll get some new bits for the car. We’ll see there where we are compared to the others.”