Bottas podium extends remarkable Finnish success streak

Bottas podium Austria

Valtteri Bottas' maiden Formula One podium extended a remarkable run of success for his native Finland.

24-year-old Bottas took third spot in yesterday's Austrian Grand Prix having started second on the grid, making the most of his Williams' Mercedes powerplant on the fast Red Bull Ring circuit.

And that means that all of the last seven Finnish drivers to enter F1 have scored podiums, including world champions Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen and Keke Rosberg. It makes the country - which has a population of 5.5 million - among the most successful per-capita in F1 history.

"I think overall it was my best ever weekend," said Bottas after getting his first taste of F1 podium champagne. "I'm really happy for us as a team. We were really strong the whole weekend.

"It's down to the hard work," he continued. "We are making progress, getting closer to the positions where we belong."

Bottas added that though he was satisfied with a top-three he is still hoping for more.

"For the moment I am happy with what we did as a team, but we always aim for better," he concluded.

As well as Bottas and the country's trio of world champions, Finland has produced race-winner Heikki Kovalainen and podium finishers Mika Salo and JJ Letho. Austrian Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg raced under the Finnish flag earlier in his career, but now competes as a German.

The only Finn to race in Formula One without scoring a podium is Leo Kinnunen, who made a single appearance during the 1974 season.