Valtteri Bottas says he couldn't be happier with his end to the 2017 Formula One season after winning the finale in Abu Dhabi.
'It is a really important win'
Following his incredible pole position lap on Saturday, Valtteri had a strong start to the race, retaining the lead and only relinquishing it briefly during the pit stop phase.
He withstood pressure from team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the final stint to claim the third victory of his F1 career.
"It is a really important win for me, after a pretty difficult start to the second half of the year," the Finn said afterwards.
"I have been working hard on all the issues and getting better and better. This weekend, with pole and the win, I couldn't be happier to end the season like this.
"I was really managing the race and that was a nice feeling. I had one lock-up when I was approaching one of the lapped cars, but otherwise there were no issues. In the last five laps I started to go a bit quicker and managed to build a gap - the car was so good."
'This weekend gives me confidence'
Signing off the season in style with his first Grand Slam (pole position, win and fastest lap) has given Valtteri a boost in confidence heading into the winter break.
"It is crazy to think that last year I was here with Williams, knowing that I was going to be driving in 2017 with them, and now I'm here, winning a race with Mercedes.
"It's been an incredible season for me in terms of how much I have learned with this team and Lewis. I think every single race I've always been able to find something, especially from the tricky ones.
"I need to go race by race next year, but this weekend gives me a lot of confidence. I had a good performance in the qualifying and today was very good.
"I'm really looking forward to next year and seeing what it brings. I will be working as hard as I can over the winter and I'll try to have a strong one."