Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Bottas thinks burnout would have prevented poor start

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas blamed the white line at the front of the grid for his poor start in the Chinese Grand Prix, but says he knows how to prevent it happening again.

Having qualified on pole position, Bottas lost the lead to team mate Lewis Hamilton within moments of the start.

“There was a thick white line just in front of my grid box,” Bottas explained, “so when you’re still accelerating, and when I went over the white line, I got some wheelspin on the formation lap start.

“For the race start, I thought maybe it’s going to be better with warmer tyres. But it wasn’t so once I hit the white line, got the wheelspin, took too long to recover it, lost a few metres of distance, so Lewis got me.”

Bottas said he hasn’t experienced the problem before. “I think it’s only very few tracks there is such a thick white line and maybe the paint changes also from one track to another.

“It’s more obvious on the pole position it’s there but it definitely made an effect and it’s less effect for the cars behind because when I’m on the white line from pole, that’s when you need the most of the traction. So I guess a bit unlucky with that.”

He believes he can stop it happened again by doing a ‘burnout’ over the line at the start.

“If I do it again on the formation lap I will just light up the rear tyres and leave black lines on it,” he said.

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20 comments on “Bottas thinks burnout would have prevented poor start”

  1. Yet both Ted Kravitz and another TV presenter agreed the white line is a grippy paint, comparing it with the asphalt either side.

    The on board of Bottas’ start looked fine. Lewis just got a better one.

    Hopefully Bottas doesn’t end up inside his own head again like last season.

    1. I thought Valtteri meant the Start-Finish line. I’m not sure, but it seemed to me that just before the podium presentation, and while the commentators were chatting, Sebastian was giving Valtteri a bit of a ribbing in the Drivers’ Room after the race for saying the white line was the reason for him loosing place to Louis, and Valtteri seemed to agree with what he said. Valtteri smiled as though what he’d said was actually a fabrication, or at least not the whole story. It was as though both he and Sebastian knew that what he had said wasn’t the whole truth.
      As an aside, one of the race commentators did notice some wheel spin from Valtteri’s car as he was starting the race, so I believe the claim of wheel spin is true.

      1. @drycrust He, of course, meant the white line ahead of the first grid slots below the light gantry, not the chequered flag-colored timing line, i.e., the S/F line.

        1. @jerejj Quote from Valtteri Bottas while being interviewed by Martin Brundle at the end of the race prior to the podium presentations: “… I got some wheel spin when I went over the white line, the Start – Finish line … “.

          1. @drycrust Then he just got the two lines mixed up. On some venues, the line ahead of the first two grid slots acts as both the timing line and the start line, but not on most of them. On most of them including in China, the timing line, i.e., the chequered flag-colored line locates separately from the white line below the starting-lights gantry quite a bit closer to the last corner. That’s the difference.

          2. joe pineapples
            15th April 2019, 10:47

            Its the line between Ted’s feet :)

          3. Thats some beefy lines between his feet. No wonder it was so slippery! :)

    2. I trust Bottas on this one. Just fine, but wheel spin from the white line.

      Good to see him come up with a new way to fix it for next time.

    3. The wheelspin, I don’t know if it was on the line, was audible from Bottas’ onboard and you could see a bit of a wiggle from Seb’s onboard too. Wasn’t the worst amount of wheelspin but enough to lose out in the second phase of the start and then as you’re on the outside into turn one haven’t a hope of keeping the position.

      1. @alec-glen
        I don’t think anyone in their right minds disputed that he had wheelspin. Whether there is a causal relation between that white line and the fact that Bottas had wheelspin, however – that is an entirely different question that leaves a lot of room for doubt.

  2. Bearded Bottas certainly has less humility than before.

    1. True, he’s getting dangerously close to Kimi levels of exuberance.

  3. I have an opinion
    15th April 2019, 11:19

    He knows how to prevent a poor start – Austria 2017

  4. i may be incorrect but in the post race interview with martin i did not hear bottas congragulate lewis. just putting it out there. lewis always congrats other racers and teams. yet lewis is regarded by many as being unsportmanlike…just putting it there…

    1. I think you forgot to mention that you’re just putting it out there.

  5. That line is always there in every circuit, that’s the first time I hear a pole sitter complaining about it. Check previous races, chech last year’s races etc …That paint is as grippy as the tarmac and is used everywhere they need to paint lines on the track. Apparently, they don’t use any paint and that happens for a reason! The situation with the lower blanket temperatures, medium rubber tyres that they had to begin was known. If Bottas didn’t do the proper preparation on this, if he didn’t leave enough rubber on the formation lap, that is his own mistake. Moreover, this year the single clutch is used, and it is has made trickier to find the bite point. That probably was Hamilton’s problem in the 2 previous races.

  6. Does anybody remember Michael Schumacher at the start of the formation lap at Monza 2000? Laying thick amounts of rubber across the glossy line. With Murray Walker pointing out why he was doing so. I wonder if the tyres we have today would allow for something like that? I understand Bottas’s sentiment, but wouldn’t burnig out the the current spec tyres sort of destroy them? Or take a number of laps of their life? As in “yes, you may lay down the rubber, but you have to pit 6 laps earlier”?

    1. Lewis did it in this race also.

  7. @nase my bad hehehehe

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