Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

“Massive bee” distracted Bottas at start of race

2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says he missed his braking point at the start of the Russian Grand Prix because he was distracted by a “massive bee”.

The Mercedes driver was trying to pass team mate Lewis Hamilton for the lead of the race as they went into the first braking zone at the start of the race.

Bottas had already passed Max Verstappen for second place when he tried to get around the outside of Hamilton for the lead. “Obviously the start was going to be the first opportunity,” he said after the race.

“Actually, it was a bit compromised because there was a massive bee or something that hit my visor so I couldn’t really see when I should brake. So that’s why I went too deep.”

Bottas briefly got ahead of Hamilton on the way into the corner, but ran wide onto the kerb allowing Hamilton to get ahead of him again.

“I knew it was going to be a long race after that,” said Bottas. He started the race on a harder tyre compound than Hamilton, who also collected a 10-second time penalty before the race began.

“With the medium tyre I had I knew there would be opportunities. But obviously Lewis had the penalty so once I was in clean air the pace was really awesome and I could really control everything.

“I wasn’t concerned at any point because looking at the tyres for today I knew how many opportunities there would be.”

Bottas scored his second victory of the season which cut his deficit to Hamilton in the championship contest.

“For sure it’s nice to get a win, definitely good. I need to try and keep the momentum and squeeze a bit more points against Lewis.

“There is still quite a few races to go and you just never know. I’ll just keep pushing and won’t give up and we’ll see what ends up.”

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2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on ““Massive bee” distracted Bottas at start of race”

  1. Bottas and his excuses.

    1. Well, if we forgive him for mistaking a piece of carbon from Lewis his car for a giant bee, he is actually right: he did get hit
      just before the braking zone.

      1. Then the real response is that we should be glad that he is alright, cos it could have gone real bad if it penetrated

        1. (sorry if that comes off as disagreeing, just trying to weirdly agree with you)

    2. I am kind of looking forward to hearing about them. He does have new things each time, so that is good, keeps if fresh.

      And he did do the job today regardless. He could have had a shot at the win even if Hamilton had not had his pretty stupid penalties.

      1. Bottas did have the pace today after 10th lap onwards on mediums and better strategy by not messing up badly on saturday.

      2. LOL/wail @bascb though I do agree that he might well have won it today without the self inflicted penalties for his teammate (well, 2nd maybe on teams tab, could have warned HAM you’d think, but whatever). That message after the race would have come off a bit better in that hypothetical situation though, rather than after what seemed like a win by default.

        On that note, it’s a slight bit pathetic how the German RTL, and presumably Sky, were sort of hopefully looking at those 10 penalty points for HAM as the main interest in keeping the WDC going, which isn’t what I’d think of as a great way to decide a championship (and certainly with little influence in improving the on-track racing all that much, as the fight for the win this race illustrated).

    3. Attila Mikaczo
      1st October 2020, 11:02

      Actually, you can see big bug size something flies next to the halo between 1:00 an 1:01 in this video

  2. there was a massive bee or something that hit my visor so I couldn’t really see when I should brake

    Those Russian bees must be pretty gigantic to block your vision.

  3. Norris was attacked by a hornet on stream some time ago.

    He will emphasize.

  4. I think he should take that bee with him if he can drive like that :D

  5. Was the ‘to whom it may concern’ thing aimed at the bee?

    1. @rocketpanda So tiresome to read comments like this. Hamilton messed up in Q2, compromising his race strategy. Then Hamilton messed up again today by breaking the rules. So I feel like it was meant for Hamilton-believers who can’t accept he messes up sometimes.

      1. @huhhii I think the radio comment was spot on, given how much it seems to have annoyed his critics.

        1. Lol actually I thought it was just funny. I’d prefer Bottas to win anyway, but it worries me Hamilton has to mess up twice for him to win. The first time he made that comment it was great and deserving as he owned that race. But this one… not quite so much.

      2. What an earth is a Hamilton believer?

  6. I’m not sure Bottas is capable of replicating Rosberg’s effort to overcome the deficit in talent over the course of a season, after several attempts.

    There does seem to be a pattern of small excuses developing. Even though he won, he felt obliged to mention he was put off and that’s why he didn’t win the head-to-head duel. Throw in his radio message and the fact he has been replying to social media criticism, and it feels that despite the win today, he is showing quite a bit of weakness.

    Maybe the win will be a catalyst for him to finish the season strongly, but I don’t feel confident that will be the case. If he can’t let go of the criticism and the fact he isn’t quite as naturally talented as Ham, he will struggle to turn things around in this season or any other.

    1. I think we can all appreciate Rosberg’s championship now: Rosberg stopped reading the news (maybe Bottas should do the same instead of reading people’s criticism on social media), studied sleep with a jet-lag doctor, focused on winning the next race instead of the championship, altered his racing gloves to improve his starts, removed paint from his helmet to make it 80 g lighter, employed a mental trainer to increase his aggression, abstained from alcohol, refrained from cycling to lose 1 kg of muscle in both his legs… What was the result? He started 2016 by winning the first four races.

      I doubt Bottas can manage that, no matter how many Bottas 4.0 messages we’ll see after Bottas wins his first race of 2021

  7. I don’t for one minute believe that Bottas has any fans in F1 apart from his wife. He wants us to believe that some big fat bee came asking for his autograph..

    1. His wife divorced him mate :)

      (my comment below meant to be a reply here)

  8. Maybe it the same one from last week’s Great British Bake Off that left Dave’s pineapple cakes on the floor…

  9. Wow, just wow 😅. Bottas 4.0 or more.

  10. Bees? Or dogs? Or dogs who, when they bark, shoot bees out of their mouths?

    Get a grip VTB.

    1. Nice simpsons reference @nickelodeon81 😄

  11. « Gust of Wind » 29 OCT 2015, Nico Erik Rosberg

  12. His wife divorced him mate :)

  13. I’m just waiting to hear the news that the stewards have issued the bee with 5 penalty points for causing a collision

  14. Bottas was lucky that Verstappen fluffed his start.

  15. It was probably Ant Man

Comments are closed.