Bottas 'very disappointed' after second slips away

Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix did not have the outcome that Valtteri Bottas had been hoping for. The Finn... The post Bottas 'very disappointed' after second slips away appeared first on F1i.com.

Bottas 'very disappointed' after second slips away

Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix did not have the outcome that Valtteri Bottas had been hoping for.

The Finn started the race from the front row of the grid alongside his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, but he immediately lost two positions to Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll heading into the first corner.

Although he was quickly able to take care of the Racing Point, the Red Bull remained out of reach for the rest of the race leaving Bottas finishing in third place at the chequered flag.

"Of course, this is very disappointing, I'm not here to finish third,' he admitted afterwards.

"The start was really the key point for my race. It just wasn't good enough, so I lost a few positions. We'll have to look into what happened, but ultimately the guys behind me got a good tow and were able to overtake me.

"On a track like this, where overtaking in the race is so difficult and track position is everything, your race becomes very tricky if you lose places," he said. "With a different start the end result would have been very different.

"In the first stint, I had to push hard to make up ground which worked fairly well," he continued. "In stint two, I was pretty much right behind Max all the time, but it is so difficult to overtake here, and you need a really big time difference."

Mercedes made the decision to put Bottas onto a new set of soft tyres for his final stint in the hope that he would be able to catch and pass Verstappen in the remaining 16 laps. But that didn't work.

"The soft tyre wasn't the best compound to attack Verstappen in the end, so we need to understand why that was the case," acknowledged team principal Toto Wolff.

“You can see that lost Valtteri’s race," he told Sky Sports F1. "We put the soft on Valtteri, logically he’d catch up on Verstappen and overtake - at least you’re in the fight. But the tyre had no grip."

When Hamilton learned that Bottas had been fitted with the soft tyre for the final stint, he made it clear that he wanted to stay on the medium compound - which proved to be the right call.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 in the post race FIA Press Conference.

"At the end we were ready to put soft tyres on [Lewis'] car because there were not a lot of laps left and it was the logical choice. But he said, 'Don’t give me the soft, give me the medium’."

Wolff added that hearing Hamilton take command of the situation with the right call had been "the most special thing for me".

When his own soft tyre gambit petered out, Bottas made an extra stop on the penultimate lap to get some fresh rubber enabling to successfully take a consolation bonus point for the fastest lap of the race.

"We had a free pit stop at the end, so I could pit for fresh tyres and got the fastest lap," he confirmed. "Overall, it wasn't the race I had hoped for, but sometimes that's just the way it goes.

"We'll analyse everything from the race and move onto the next one."

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Sainz: Strong home race 'confidence building' for McLaren

Carlos Sainz's solid Spanish Grand Prix put the McLaren driver back in the points after a two-race draught,... The post Sainz: Strong home race 'confidence building' for McLaren appeared first on F1i.com.

Sainz: Strong home race 'confidence building' for McLaren

Carlos Sainz's solid Spanish Grand Prix put the McLaren driver back in the points after a two-race draught, a result the Spaniard believes will also be "confidence building" for his team.

A spell of bad luck that included a botched pitstop from his team, a tyre failure in the British Grand Prix and cooling issues at Silverstone's second race have weighed on Sainz's recent results.

An engine change in Barcelona solved his MCL35's cooling problem and allowed Sainz to make it into the Q3 shootout on Saturday.

From P7 on the gird, the McLaren charger held his own among the top ten from where he negotiated the successive tyre rotations without any drama to end his race sixth.

©McLaren

"Eight points! It's a bit of a relief for me after such a long run of bad luck, but also for the guys it's a confidence building race, getting the strategy right, the pit stops right," admitted Sainz.

"I'd like to thank the whole team also because obviously an engine change makes a bit of a difference.

"And today we actually put up a fight with the Racing Points which is a bit surprising because they were very fast out there.

"In the end of the race, we nearly gave them a headache with the lap times we were doing. So happy about that and definitely a confidence building weekend."

Running an aggressive last sting on the medium tyre, Sainz believes he could have pipped Sergio Perez to fifth, taking into account the five-second penalty handed to the Mexican for a blue-flag violation.

But ultimately, the need to lift while he was lapped by runner-up Max Verstappen blew away his chance of a top five result.

"Yeah, we wanted to go on the attack, we were very clear that the hard tyre on our car doesn't work.

"We wanted to save the medium for the last stint so we went soft/soft and then I had a clean last stint [on the mediums].

"It's a shame because I just got lapped by Verstappen eight laps to the end, that made me lose two or three seconds which in the end cost me my position with Checo. But still P6 and good points!"

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