Valtteri Bottas has held on to his championship lead courtesy of finishing second in the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, but the Finn admits to struggling in the desert conditions.
Bottas snatched second at the start of the race from fourth on the grid but would fall back a couple of laps later after a short battle with Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton.
The winner from Australia would go on to claim second at the end of the race thanks to a mid-race mistake from Sebastian Vettel and mechanical misfortune for Leclerc. Bottas admits the race wasn’t easy.
“This was not an easy race, the car was very difficult to drive and the conditions were very tricky with the gusty winds today which made the car very unpredictable,” said Bottas.
“I had a good start and managed to get to P2, but in the next lap the wind caught me up going into Turn 1, so I lost the position again and ultimately fell back to fourth after a battle with Lewis.
“After that it was actually a relatively lonely race for me at points, I didn’t see anybody; but I think it was probably very exciting from the outside with many unexpected moments.”
Bottas admits to luck playing a part in his podium but says it’s a welcome change from the misfortunes that plagued him throughout 2018.
“Ferrari were very strong again in the race as they were all weekend. But luck was on our side today, which was a welcome change for me personally after all the bad luck I experienced last year. On the other hand our car was very reliable which ultimately won us the race today.
“It was a tough race for Charles, but he did a great job all weekend and I’m sure his time will come. We’re leaving Bahrain with lots of points but also a lot of work to do for China.”