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Bottas hails 'best ever race' in Australia

Bottas hails 'best ever race' in Australia

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Bottas hails 'best ever race' in Australia

Bottas hails 'best ever race' in Australia

Valtteri Bottas labelled his Australian Grand Prix victory as the greatest race of his career, having started his 2019 campaign with an utterly dominant win in Melbourne. Bottas beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton into second by over 20 seconds and secured the race's bonus point for fastest lap.

Hamilton had snatched pole position away from Bottas at the last in qualifying, but the Finn got a much better launch off the line – setting him up to take a ruthless win.

Bottas came into 2019 staving off questions about his long-term future in Mercedes after going through the previous season without winning a single race.

And the Finn was in no mood to play down the significance of his win at Albert Park.

"I don't know what just happened," Bottas said. "I don't know what to say – the start was really good.

"It was definitely my best race ever.

"I don't know what happened, but everything felt so good and everything was under control.

"The car was so good today, so truly enjoyable and I need to enjoy today."

Bottas fended off late effort from third-placed Max Verstappen to take the fastest lap away from him, but a mighty penultimate lap was enough to take the maximum points on offer.

"That's a new rule for this year, I knew I had really strong pace and I wanted to go for that in the end.

"It was a bit risky with worn tyres, but in the end it was worth it."

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