Valtteri Bottas took his second career victory for Mercedes AMG Petronas in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
The Brackley driver edged Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari by 0.6s across the line while team-mate Lewis Hamilton battled back from eighth to claim fourth.
It’s not even halftime in the championship and there are 275 points still to be wonTeam boss Totto Wolff
Hamilton trails Vettel 171 by 20 points in the FIA Drivers’ Championship with Bottas a further 15 points back in third.
It was the ideal boost for Bottas ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Bottas said: “The first win is obviously special but this is only my second win, so it’s a great feeling to get it. It’s been my best weekend yet with the pole and the win, and I hope we can continue from here.
“The car was so good this weekend, so I knew we could still do it. I got a massive blister on the rear-left in the second stint after just five laps, which made the car tricky to drive.
“I was losing more and more performance but it wasn’t my first time having to keep Sebastian [Vettel] behind me. I kept my focus and managed to finish the race without any mistakes.
“It would have been tricky to keep Sebastian behind for much longer, so it was good to see the chequered flag. I’m still in the title fight and I’m only going to get better.”
Hamilton said: “It’s been a difficult weekend but I can take heart that I limited the damage to Sebastian in the points and that I went forward through the field. I really don’t think there was much left in the car at the end of the race.
“We’ve slipped further behind Sebastian again but there’s a long way to go. I’ll keep battling and I’ll never give up. Valtteri did a great job all weekend and thoroughly deserves the win.
“I’m really looking forward to Silverstone, I’ve got a few days to put this weekend behind me. I can’t wait to see the home crowd again and start with a clean slate.
“I hope I can use Silverstone as a springboard for the second half of my season.”
Team boss Toto Wolff added: “That was a perfect day for Valtteri. He made a sensational start, although we had a few nervous moments when we heard it was under investigation.
“It was the perfect result for him and also for Lewis, to score maximum points. As for Lewis, he had a glimpse of third on the final laps but it wasn’t quite meant to be.
“It was an afternoon of damage limitation for him and, in the final result, these are 12 points won and not six lost to Sebastian. He has had a tough run with the headrest problem in Baku and then the gearbox penalty here but he is still right in the fight.
“It’s not even halftime in the championship and there are 275 points still to be won. Our target will be to let him fight back in the best possible way in Silverstone.”