Turkish GP was ‘one of my most difficult races’ – Bottas

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas admitted the Turkish Grand Prix was one of his toughest races in Formula 1 so far, after damaging his car on the first lap and spinning six times.

“It was a disaster race for me,” said the Mercedes driver, who first went off at the start when Esteban Ocon spun ahead of him. “Obviously I had the spin in the first corner when I was avoiding one of the Renault’s spins.”

Further around the opening lap Bottas had another, more damaging run-in with Ocon. “Then I had the collision in turn nine on the first lap,” he explained. “The car was not right after that.

“I could feel that the steering wheel was pointing to the left on the straight line and then in left and right corners the car was behaving differently.”

He went off a total of six times as he tried to make up lost ground. “I think all the moments I had, it was not like how it should be,” he said. “It was a messy race, a disastrous race.

“Obviously I was trying to push as hard as I could because there was nothing to lose for me today. So I dropped back, I was pushing as hard as I could and made mistakes. And for sure with the damage as well it made it quite tricky. It could be the most difficult race I’ve had in Formula 1 so far.”

Bottas, whose hopes of beating Lewis Hamilton to the world championship ended yesterday, took the chequered flag in 14th place and was lapped by his team mate. He said he wasn’t surprised Hamilton finished so far ahead “because I made so many mistakes and wasted I don’t know how many minutes with my spins and everything.

“It seems that once the track was getting drier our car was starting to work and I could feel that as well myself. So he had a good race, he had a really solid race without mistakes.

“So I think for him it was a good race to win the title. But I wasn’t surprised, I knew that he would want to win the title with style.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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16 comments on “Turkish GP was ‘one of my most difficult races’ – Bottas”

  1. I would guess that even apart from possible damage and steering being off, him starting with incidents meant he never really got the tyre to work (until late stage where he too felt the car working better as it dried), which put him in a self-reinforcing spiral of trouble.

  2. It was a nightmare race for Bottas compounded by those early incidents with Ocon one of which was of his own making and it was just downhill from there.

  3. Bottas reminded me of Bambi on ice!

  4. Obviously I was trying to push as hard as I could because there was nothing to lose for me today. So I dropped back, I was pushing as hard as I could and made mistakes.

    What kind of attitude is that? There was literally everything to lose for him today… He’s making it sound as if it was okay to be reckless with everything on the line, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    I think for him it was a good race to win the title. But I wasn’t surprised, I knew that he would want to win the title with style.

    It really sounds like he lost the race before it even began.

    Can we get a Botas 3.0 please? The 2.0 has been as bad as the first version…
    To whom it may concern, move over, and give someone else a shot in the car.

    1. By his words, he was overdriving !

      Thé contact with Ocon is about misjudging and over ambitious. He was behind Leclerc out of turn 8, braked deeper than anyone else – thinking he’s going to overtake them all – and crashed into the Renault who was two places in front.

    2. The questions the media ask drivers can often make the drivers come out with confused sounding results that are then often twisted a little further before being published. It is not always the case, but if Bottas had a relaxed conversation, I doubt he would come across like this and that would be the same with many drivers. But one thing is clear – Bottas is admitting that he had a very poor drive. So it is obvious that he’s not happy with his performance.

      So many are influenced by the latest result and that instantly meaning he should be replaced. Last race, he likely would have won if not for his significant damage. He also possibly missed a slim chance of a win in Tuscan after a perfect start and restart. There just happened to be two more which is not so common. Even on the 3rd restart, which unluckily was a standing restart where he couldn’t rely as well on keeping the lead, he had a better launch than Hamilton and it was only slipstream that got Hamilton by.

      Bottas hasn’t had a great season and has had two poor races. But overall, given who he is up against, he’s been pretty good overall, and is ideal for a number two driver. I don’t understand the people demanding he needs replacing when last season and this season, he’s on target for getting the team the best possible positions in the WDC. There is next to no point messing up this line up yet.

  5. So a possible weak spot of DAS? Haven’t heard about bent steering for a long time in F1 as it’s usually built very strong – straight or broken, very rarely “bent”.

    1. I think it’s pretty common in F1 cars following contact. if it’s not too bad then the drivers can compensate easily enough (easy for them!) but obviously it compromises performance, tyre wear etc. In conditions are challenging as yesterday’s, he probably did well just to keep it out of the wall.

  6. Just vacate the seat. You got your chance.

    1. and who would be the wingman to Lewis afterwards?

      1. Any driver on the F1 grid who has not won a GP would be keen to get the opportunity in that car. Rest is up to Mercedes to decide.

    2. In the four years that Bottas has been driving for Mercedes, he has finished 3rd, 5th, 2nd, and 2nd in the WDC. Hamilton has won the WDC all four years. Mercedes has taken the constructors’ trophy all four years.

      What team, in any sport, would ever want to break up a combination like that?

  7. Bottas the RainMeister…

  8. Bottas may not have amazed us on track as he wanted to but he certainly did off track at the end of the race. Obviously, this was one of his worst races and he still found the courage to congratulate Lewis and praise him in the interview. We’ve all be hoping for Bottas to be able to push Lewis in a championship and extend the suspense but he’s competing against a confident Lewis who appears incapable of putting a foot wrong even in the worst conditions and with slicks. It’s quite ironic that Bottas has found himself as part of the best team and at the same time has probably the worst seat in F1 but such is the price that a great driver pays when paired against such an exceptional driver who half the time appears as if he belongs in a different racing category and should be bumped up from F1.

  9. I was just laughing all through reading the comments. Racefans are more reasonable than gpblog fans

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