October 23, 2021

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Bottas: Poor starts compromised opportunity for race win

Valtteri Bottas wasn’t in the mix for a race win at Silverstone on Sunday, a deficit the Mercedes driver pinned on his poor launches off the line on both starts.

After the restart that followed the incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, Bottas lost a spot to McLaren’s Lando Norris which then left him stranded in fourth place until his mid-race pitstop.

The Finn reckoned he had fulfilled his role as the ideal teammate for Hamilton in the British Grand Prix, but the Mercedes driver lamented his laborious launches off the line.

©Mercedes

“If I look at the whole picture, as a team, it was obviously a great day for us in terms of points – and for Lewis as well, being able to win the race,” he said.

“For me, what compromised the race and being able to fight for the race win was the race start in both occasions: the first race start and then obviously with the red flag.

“On both starts I was wheel-spinning quite a bit, a bit like Lewis yesterday and that made it a bit more difficult.”

Running behind Norris, Bottas attempted the overcut against the McLaren driver, stopping one lap after the Briton, but the move didn’t pay off and also led to an extended final stint.

“Lando stopped quite early and had a slow stop, so I had to react to that. That was the best case to get ahead of him, so we took the opportunity.

“At the same time I knew that it was going to compromise the end of the race. We knew the second stint would be long, and that’s how it proved – it was tough towards the end of the race with the tyres blistering badly.

“Still happy to get on the podium and get some good points.”

Bottas also revealed that he had crossed the checkered flag as thirsty as a sponge.

“Yeah, I had no drinks,” he said. “My drinks system didn’t work.”

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