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Williams flying Finn achieves fastest time at Austrian GP final practice

Valterri Bottas was all smiles at the final practice of the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg June 20, 2014.
Valterri Bottas was all smiles at the final practice of the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg June 20, 2014.
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas edged out Lewis Hamilton by .05 seconds during the final practice at the 4.3 kilometer Red Bull Ring at Spielberg coming in at 1.09.848, while teammate Felipe Massa came in third with 1:09.901. This is only the second time all season that Mercedes failed to make the fastest time in any final practice. In fact, Mercedes drivers Hamilton was only 8th and Nico Rosberg 11th at the session’s midpoint, seemingly more intent on the overall pace for the long-run, rather than beating the clock.

Born August 28, 1989 in Nastola, Finland, Bottas’s best finish to date was when he came in 6th during the Australian Grand Prix (after recovering from a crash), but was bumped up to 5th after Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from 2nd. He has been racing for Williams since 2012,11 November 2013 Bottas was confirmed to continue with Williams in 2014 alongside Felipe Massa who has been signed from Ferrari to replace Pastor Maldonado.[9] At the first race of the 2014 season in Australia, Bottas qualified 10th and finished 6th, his best finish to date, after recovering from a crash earlier in the race. He was later promoted to 5th after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from 2nd position. Before yesterday, his best qualifying position was 3rd at the Canadian Grand Prix (Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montréal) behind Sebastian Vettel (1st), and Lewis Hamilton (2nd).[8] He scored his first points finish at the US Grand Prix by finishing 8th. As a result, he finished in front of Pastor Maldonado in the Drivers' Championship

Bottas has been with Williams since 2010, beginning as a test driver, and continued as such through 2012 (having taken part in 15 Friday Free Practice sessions), before being appointed Maldonado’s official teammate for the 2013. He was then resigned to race alongside Massa after Maldonado moved on to Ferrari.