Bottas left to rue poor start as he finishes third behind Verstappen in Spain
__A 50th Formula 1 podium did little to lift Valtteri Bottas’s spirits after the Spanish Grand Prix, as the Finn failed to convert his P2 start into the victory he so craved thanks, in major part, to a bad getaway at the start.
Bottas had to content himself with third place behind title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after slipping to P4 on the opening tour, having been outdragged by Verstappen and then boldly passed by Lance Stroll's Racing Point into Turn 1.
He recovered to quickly pass Stroll, but his victory hopes had all but gone by that point.
“With a good start, a win would have been possible, but the start was bad,” said Bottas, cutting a disappointed figure after the sixth round of the season.
“Then I was on the outside line for Turn 1, lost places there, then of course on this track it becomes a bit more tricky so we tried to do everything I could, maximise every stint, but there was not too much really to do once Max was ahead.
“Everything to understand from the data we can see everything and videos and that so for sure, we’ll analyse it,” he continued.
A Lap 48 stop for soft tyres did little to change Bottas’s fortunes as he could not bridge the gap to Verstappen by the end, eventually swapping for mediums on Lap 64 to get the Fastest Lap bonus point.
“Yeah I think the start was the key point, so the start was not good enough, and lost a position so in the first stint then had to push hard to make some ground then struggled with the tyre life,” reiterated Bottas.
“And then stint two, I was really [far] behind Max and it’s difficult to attack, overtake, and in the end I think the start was the bad thing.”
So what happened in that crucial start?
“I’m not sure. We’ll have to look at it,” replied Bottas. “Seems like Lewis in front, he just got a good start and I think the guys behind me got a tow. I had no tow, so we’ll need to have a look. I was kind of sandwiched [into Turn 1], so yeah, disappointed.” he concluded.
Bottas remains third in the championship on 89 points, behind Verstappen’s 95, as Hamilton leads with 132 points. With 41 podiums for Mercedes, he’s 14 behind Nico Rosberg’s 55 in their all-time list.