Bottas, who started second on the grid, saw off the challenge of pole-sitting team mate Felipe Massa and though he was unable to contain the hard-charging Mercedes, he kept them in sight and came home just six seconds behind runner-up Lewis Hamilton.
“It's difficult to explain how I feel right now,” said the Finn. “That was the best champagne I've ever tasted. All the hard work that the team puts in shows in moments like this. I had one pit stop that really put in me in the fight and that changed my race, so well done to the boys for that.
“I had put in a good lap before that and so I got in front on Felipe and from there I could manage my pace with the cars in front. Having both cars score good points is what we wanted and so third and fourth for the team is a great result.”
Despite having locked out the front row of the Spielberg grid in qualifying, Williams insisted they never expected to beat Mercedes and Rob Smedley, head of performance engineering at the team, said they had got the maximum possible out of the Grand Prix.
“It was a difficult race in terms of managing brakes, systems on the car and tyres, and that dictated what we could do with strategy,” he said. “The two car crews did a great job to manage tyres and get us to the end of the race and both drivers drove a sensible race. Considering where the team was 12 months ago, to where we are today, everyone should be very proud of this.”
Williams’ best result of the season yielded 27 points and moved the team up to fifth place in the constructors’ standings on 85 points, 13 clear of McLaren in sixth and only two behind Force India in fourth.