Valtteri Bottas has suffered a string of disappointments in recent weeks, with his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton consistently able to pip him to pole positions and race victories when it counts.
But at the start of the Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday it looked like the tide might finally be turning in the Finn’s favour when he was able to take advantage of the slipstream into turn 1 to slingshot his way into the lead.
Hamilton wasn’t able to successfully counterattack, leaving Bottas in charge of the race for the opening laps. An early accident then led to a safety car
- Hamilton survives red flags and restarts to frustrate Bottas
“It was like a dream start to me to the race,” Bottas told Sky Sports F1 after the finish. “The start was good, and I also managed to hold my position at the safety car restart.”
“The first part of the race was really good, but also was pretty short,” he continued.
The first attempt to restart the race led to a four-car accident on the front straight and a red flag.
That resulted in a standing restart half an hour later, and this time it was Hamilton who got the slipstream and sailed back into the lead.
“Once I lost the position to Lewis, it was really tricky to get it back,” Bottas recalled.
“Obviously I tried everything I could. The middle stint I was pushing really hard, especially in the middle stint so I could maintain the distance. But when you are behind, you need to slide the car more and that uses up your tyres.
“There weren’t many opportunities once I lost the place, but that’s how it goes,” he sighed.
Another red flag and standing restart didn’t give him the chance he wanted to get the lead back, and a poor launch meant he actually lost a place to Daniel Ricciardo.
He got the position back a lap later, but by then it was too late to do anything about Hamilton’s lead and he was forced to accept second place yet again.
“I just need to keep pushing and keep trying to get better,” he said when asked what he could do to turn things around in his ongoing battle with Hamilton. “It has to turn out well for me at some point so I’ll just keep pushing.
“I’ve lost many qualifyings this year with just a few hundredths [of a second] so that’s the first thing. I need to get those few hundredths to my side.”
There was some criticism of how Bottas had handled the initial restart for being too slow to the line once the safety car pulled in, but he denied that he had done anything untoward.
“We’re allowed to race from the control line, which has been there for a while I think,” he explained. “The safety car has been putting the lights off quite late so you can only build the gap pretty late on.
“Of course when you’re at the lead you try to maximise your chances. I’m not at all to blame for that. Everyone can look for whatever they want for it.
“I was doing a consistent speed until I went. Yes I went late, but we start racing from the control line – not before that.”
Some of the cars at the back went early and ran into the back of those ahead of them, which Bottas said was their own fault.
“They can look in the mirror, there’s no point whining about it,” he stated emphatically.
Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter
Click Here: camisetas de futbol baratas