RACE DEBRIEF

    After taking P2 in the Austrian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas has now been winless since September 2020 – but the Mercedes driver said he could take consolation from his uptick in form over the two races at the Red Bull Ring.

    Bottas' last victory came at the 2020 Russian Grand Prix and this season has been especially tough for the Finn, who currently sits down in fifth in the drivers' championship. However, starting fifth in the Austrian Grand Prix, the Finn pulled off a one-stop strategy, taking advantage of a penalty to Lando Norris, and struggles for Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton to finish in P2.

    READ MORE: Hamilton says Mercedes upgrade won’t be enough to catch Red Bull after winless run continues in Austria

    As a result, Bottas said he was taking positives from the race: "Yes for me personally, of course [I finished] one place better than last week and I started from fifth, so I think, as a team, we got some decent points considering the gap we have to Red Bull in terms of pure pace.

    "So for me it’s nice to be on the podium again in second place. I think it was really [the maximum] we could get today.

    Valtteri Bottas happy after a 'strong race' in Austria

    "It was not an easy race for us. Starting fifth; ending up second, I think we really had to fight to get to the place we were and I don't think there was much left on the table for us for today," he reiterated.

    Asked if he felt he had turned a corner from a personal perspective, Bottas replied: "Yeah, the last two weekends have been more positive, cleaner weekends and more solid Sundays, as it should be, so yeah hopefully I can carry this momentum and I just try to look ahead."

    With Mercedes' home race up next at Silverstone, and upgrades incoming, Bottas was asked if the British Grand Prix is a crucial fork in the road for the Silver Arrows as they sit 44 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' championship.

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    Bottas is just nine points behind Norris, who finished third in Austria

    He replied: "I think it would be promising if we could make a step forward and close the gap, but honestly, if we look at these two weeks as a whole we’ve made some good damage limitation against Red Bull considering they've been clearly faster.

    READ MORE: ‘The car was on rails’ says Verstappen as he extends title lead with third win in a row

    "So there’s two weeks until Silverstone and we’ve got some work to do but now I’m keen to have a bit of champagne," he concluded.

    A fourth podium of the season puts Bottas on 92 points, although he sits behind third-place finisher Lando Norris and Red Bull's Sergio Perez in the championship heading to the British Grand Prix.