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Valtteri Bottas hails 'start of my life' in Austrian Grand Prix

Austrian Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas has hailed his lightning-quick getaway in Sunday's race as the best start of his life.

The Mercedes driver's superb start had been investigated as a potential jump start, though no further action was taken. Bottas pulled clear in the opening stint and despite struggling with blistering tyres in the closing stages, managed to fend off a late charge from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to claim his second Formula One victory and his sixth podium finish of the season.

"I think that was the start of my life!" Bottas explained. "I was just really on it today. It was good. I had a bit of a déjà vu in the end with what happened in Russia. He [Vettel] was catching up.

"The problem in the last stint, I had a massive blister on the rear left since lap five of that stint, so that made it quite tricky. In the beginning I could control the pace, but in the end the backmarkers made it quite tricky. I'm really happy, it's only my second win in my career. Massive thank you to the team for making this possible."

His second place finish in Baku and win in Austria mean Bottas is now only 35 points off the lead of the drivers' world championship and just 15 behind Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. While the Finn acknowledged there is a still of lot of racing to be done, he admits he does believe he is in contention for the title.

"It's still a long year ahead," he said. "We're not even in the halfway of the year, so definitely I believe and the team believes and we are still developing. I'm just loving every moment and it's going to be good."