AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - After a weekend filled with accusations of favoritism and dirty tricks, Williams ended the U.S. Grand Prix on a high note with Finnish rookie Valtteri Bottas scoring his first Formula One championship points.
”It is a great day and I‘m very happy for the team,“ Bottas told reporters. ”We got finally some points with me as well, four points.
“We really did a very good job today. The strategy, the race start, pit stop, everyone from the team did such a good job. I really feel like we deserved it.”
A difficult season for Williams, who had scored just one point all season before Sunday, boiled over on Saturday when Bottas’s Venezuelan team mate Pastor Maldonado made thinly-veiled accusations against the team.
Maldonado, who is leaving after next week’s finale in Brazil, told Britain’s Sky Sports television that he believed he was a victim of sabotage and that somebody was playing with the pressure and temperatures in his car.
The team firmly rejected any such talk.
The Venezuelan’s problems continued on Sunday when he became involved in a first lap incident with Force India’s Adrian Sutil.
There were no such problems for Bottas, however, as he turned a solid qualifying effort into an eighth place finish and four points for his ecstatic team - becoming only the second rookie to score this year.
“After a good start Valtteri had a strong race, fighting hard when needed and making a great move to overtake (Sauber‘s) Esteban Gutierrez for eighth,” said Williams chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar.
”We managed the gap to (Nico) Rosberg behind us and Valtteri was able to push in the final laps to make sure he held the position.
“It was a great result for him to secure his first Formula One points and a well deserved end to the weekend for all the team.”
Editing by Alan Baldwin