Valtteri Bottas disappointingly failed to convert his pole position in Bahrain into a race win, and ultimately finished the Grand Prix in third position, behind winner Sebastian Vettel and runner-up Mercedes AMG Formula One Team team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The Finn complained throughout the race of trouble with the rear of his car, with the team also communicating high tyre pressures and temperatures. These issues were apparent early on as despite maintaining his first place off the line, Bottas failed to pull away from the lack with the top five separated by a couple of seconds for quite a number of laps.
“Not a good day,” he said. “We had an issue with the tyre pressures at the start.
“I don’t know what it was but I could really feel it in the first stint and was sliding around as early as Lap 2.”
Vettel kept his Scuderia Ferrari close to the gearbox of Bottas. When Bottas finally gave in and came in for a pit stop during the safety car period, an issue during the the tyre change cost him the lead.
“The pace wasn’t good and Sebastian put us under real pressure,” he continued. “I tried to extend the first stint but I couldn’t keep up with the pace.
“The second stint was better but I was still struggling with oversteer and then I couldn’t get the rear-end to work in the last stint.
“Under the Safety Car at the first stop there was a problem and we lost some time in the stop; maybe otherwise I would have just been in front but I know that the team will investigate the issue.”
This third place secures two podiums out of three races for the Finn. He would have undoubtedly dreamt of a better result in the desert, though. All that Bottas can do now is work hard with the team on identifying and rectifying the issues before starting afresh at the next stop in Sochi.
“I had some good racing with Sebastian after the restart but unfortunately it was just for a short moment,” he added. “I’ve not had the race results that I’d been hoping for so far, but will be targeting a strong weekend in Sochi.”