Valtteri Bottas says he isn’t sure what caused the poor start which ended his chances of challenging his team mate for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix.Lewis Hamilton extended his points lead over Bottas, who shared the front row with him today but lost two places at the start. Bottas said he couldn’t explain why he got away more slowly than Hamilton.
“I don’t really know if there’s much difference between left and right [sides of the grid],” he said. “I don’t know the facts, but all I know I had a bad start, at least compared to Lewis.”
While Bottas got away slowly from the right-hand side of the grid he was passed by Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll who started from the left-hand side.
“When you’re at the front the effect is even worse because obviously the cars behind get a tow out of you. So first I tried to move to the left to get a tow from Lewis, but then Max was already there. And then I tried to go to the right to cover the inside, but then one of the Racing Points was already there.
“So then I had cars on the outside and one on the inside that was ahead of me into turn one. So I was a bit sandwiched.”
The Racing Point was “pretty good” on the straight, said Bottas in response to a question from RaceFans. “So I was not really surprised that with a tow they could get inside of me. In the race pace, I think it only took two laps to get through.”
While Bottas was able to reclaim one place from Stroll, he couldn’t overhaul Verstappen for second.
“Everyone knows on this track how tricky it is when you lose two places at the start,” he said. “Of course we tried everything we could, the pace was strong. I think the tyres were holding on a bit better than expected.
“We tried something different at the end for me, even made an extra stop at the end for the fastest lap, which worked. But for me personally, of course, really, really disappointing today.”
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