Bottas left disappointed after spin costs potential podium finish

Credit: Wolfgang Wilhelm

Valtteri Bottas was left extremely downbeat after finishing the Chinese Grand Prix down in sixth after spinning out of a strong position behind the safety car.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer was running third in the early laps but lost two spots in the pit lane as he waited for team-mate Lewis Hamilton to be serviced first, but then spun on cold tyres down to twelfth, with a podium finish certainly a possibility without the mistake.

Bottas was able to recover to sixth but ran out of laps to do any better, finishing just behind the battle for third between Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen.

“I’m very disappointed with today,” said Bottas. “I made a good start but it didn’t go so well from there. Yes, we lost some time in the pit stop but it was nothing compared to what we lost with my mistake.

“I was trying everything I could to get temperature in the tyres behind the Safety Car but went too aggressive and lost control of the car. It was entirely my fault. I’m really sorry for the team and the points we lost today.

“It took few laps to get the tyres working after the spin but in the end my pace was okay. I think we made the right choice sticking with the Soft tyre for the second stint. The car was good today – a winning car, obviously.

“But the laps were running out as I was getting closer to the cars in front and I couldn’t recover enough of the time I lost.”

Bottas is happy that the next race is only a week away so he can put the disappointment of China behind him quickly, and is looking for a strong weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit.

“I’m leaving for Bahrain tonight and I’m glad the next race comes soon,” said Bottas. “Once you’ve done a mistake it’s done, so you try to forget it and do everything you can to make up for it next time, so I will take a look in the mirror at myself and come back stronger.”