Valtteri Bottas: “It’s been an all-around difficult weekend for me”

Valtteri Bottas ran third but ultimately lost out to both Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo - Credit: Wolfgang Wilhelm

Valtteri Bottas felt fifth was not the optimum result for him during the Belgian Grand Prix as he slipped from third position on the safety car restart on Sunday.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver found himself swallowed up by both Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen down the Kemmel Straight, and was unable to do anything about either driver thereafter.

It completed a weekend for Bottas where he was unable to get anywhere near the pace of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and it left him with well adrift of the Briton and Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the championship standings with eight rounds remaining.

“Today’s race and result were a big disappointment,” said Bottas. “It’s been an all-around difficult weekend for me. It would have been nice to at least be on the podium and score good points for us as a team.

“After the Safety Car restart I was on the Soft tyres, but the guys who overtook me were on the Ultrasofts. I was on the back foot, struggled with grip and could not fight them. In the race the Softs are working well for us, but during a Safety Car restart there’s always a risk that other guys might have softer compounds. In a normal race we would have had an optimal tyre strategy.

“This has been the most difficult weekend for me, so I need to learn a lot from it because I wasn’t quick enough. I need to analyse my mistakes quickly, and then hopefully come back stronger next week in Monza.”