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Rivals remain unconvinced over Bottas' dream start

Austrian Grand Prix, podium: Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo celebrate
© XPB 

A flying start to the Austrian Grand Prix was key to Valtteri Bottas securing his second Formula 1 victory this weekend.

"I think that was the start of my life!" Bottas said afterwards. "I was really on it today. It was good.

"Step by step it's soaking in," he added. "It's very special and a really perfect weekend for me - pole position and a race win, so it's good."

But that start was on the very limit of what was possible without incurring a jump start penalty. And his nearest rivals Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo weren't convinced that it had in fact been legal.

"I was pretty sure he jumped it. Ask Daniel about it!" said Vettel on the podium. "It looked like it from the inside of the car.

"For sure if I'd passed him at the start the race would have looked different," he told Sky Sports F1 when asked if the result had hinged on it. "It's not that easy to pass here.

"It's done now, so I don't think there's much point talking about it."

Podium presenter and former Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle said that he had seen the telemetry data of the start that the stewards had reviewed.

"They showed me the piece of paper with a red line and a green line and some oscillations," he said. "On this piece of paper he was just in the green for what looked like the ultimate start. Almost right on the nail."

"There was an element of anticipation in that which doesn't break the rules. That's why they haven't taken any action on that, but it was oh so close. But that's what sport's about.

"What actually somewhat impresses me about that that while handling the complex start procedures in a Ferrari and a Red Bull, Vettel and Ricciardo had enough capacity about them to work out how someone else's start was going. That was impressive!"

Even with the dream start, Bottas came under heavy pressure from Vettel towards the end of the race and feared that the victory was about to slip through his fingers.

"I had a bit of a deja vu in the end to what happened in Russia," Bottas admitted. "He was catching up.

"The problem with the last stint was that a had a massive blister in the rear left from lap five or lap six in that stint," he explained. "That made it quite tricky.

"In the beginning I could control the pace, but in the end the back markers made it quite tricky.

"Really happy. It's only the second win in my carrer," he added. "Today was my best weekend so far I think, and I just can't wait for what the future will hold."

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