MONTREAL (Reuters) - Valtteri Bottas ended the Mercedes and Ferrari stranglehold on the Formula One podium and looked forward to more of the same after his third place for Williams in Canada on Sunday.
“I think we really needed this result,” said the Finn after taking the chequered flag at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve some 40 seconds behind the Mercedes of world champion and race winner Lewis Hamilton.
“Like last year we saw that it really boosts confidence. We know again now that we are a top team and that we can fight for podiums.”
Until Sunday, the only four drivers to stand on the podium in six races this year were Hamilton, his German team mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
Bottas, who had started the race in fourth place, moved up to third when Raikkonen spun after a pitstop.
“The mistake Kimi made allowed us to get one position and we also changed the plan with the strategy during the race, which I thought was really dynamic,” said the Williams driver, whose Mercedes-powered team finished last year third overall.
“I think the next couple of tracks, at least, will be pretty good for us. Austria, Silverstone, I think they will suit our car and I’m quite confident also with the package we have coming to Austria,” he said.
“If it works like all the updates so far we’ve had, I think it should be a very good step and then possibly we could be fighting for many more podiums. I really hope it’s possible.”
Former champions Williams are currently third overall, 50 points clear of Red Bull.
Bottas’s Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa, who started 15th, finished sixth and ahead of both the Red Bull drivers. Massa qualified on pole in Austria last year.
Editing by Peter Rutheford